Chennai: Tamil Nadu is most likely to receive heavy rainfall on Thursday as cyclonic storm Gaja over the Bay of Bengal is set to make landfall between Cuddalore and Pamban by evening. The district collectors of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukottai, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Rameswaram and Ramanathapuram have declared a holiday for schools and colleges today. Also Read - Viral: Police Dresses up as Coronavirus to Create Awareness in Chennai | Watch
With Gaja lying about 470-km south-east from Chennai and wind speed gusting up to 100 kmph, as per the Indian Meteorological Department, the Tamil Nadu government has asked as many as 30,500 rescue personnel to remain on standby. Also Read - Trending News Today March 16, 2020: IIT-Madras Scholar Pretends to Have Coronavirus After Being 'Dared' by Friends, Let Off With A Strict Warning
All educational institutions in Puducherry and Karaikal regions would also remain closed today in view of the cyclone. Meanwhile, District Collector Veera Raghava Rao, Ramanathapuram said that tourist movement to Dhanushkodi would be restricted from 5 PM today. Also Read - Women's Day 2020: Meet Chennai’s Sneha Mohandoss Who Took Over PM's Twitter Account
The IMD has also issued an increase in the intensity of the storm warning that waves may rise up to 1.0 meter in height and is most likely to inundate low lying areas of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu. Heavy to extremely heavy rain has also been predicted in Tamil Nadu, southern coastal Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.
As per IMD’s warning, “Rooftops may blow off,” and communication and power lines may be affected and standing crops could also be hit.
On and off rains would continue till November 18 and thereafter rains will become very less, and only isolated rains may continue, said IMD. From 08:30 AM on Monday, Punalur recorded 29.4 mm of rain followed by Alappuzha 11.1 mm, Kayamkulam 6.6 mm, Vaikom 6.0 mm, Nedumangad 5.6 mm and Aryankavu 3.0 mm.
Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister RB Udayakumar said that dams, lakes and rivers channels were being monitored continuously. The Central Water Commission (CWC) too has been advising constant vigil over dams. Incidentally, the CWC had advised action as per the Standard Operating Procedure as heavy rainfall in catchment areas could fill up the dams fast in less than 24 hours.
Fishermen have also been asked not to venture into the sea and a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts have been circulated to the people on the cyclone.
Indian Naval ships Ranvir and Khanjar are on standby to proceed to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief, evacuation, logistic support&medical aid. Ships will be embarked with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopters and relief material.