A cyclonic storm, named ‘Nivar’, is expected to hit the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry between Tuesday and Thursday. The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday and cross the coast as a severe cyclonic storm on November 25. Also Read - Cyclonic Storm Likely to Cross Over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry on Nov 25

Andhra Pradesh On High Alert:

Frontline departments in Andhra Pradesh are getting into a high alert mode as widespread rains are forecast in many districts in coastal and Rayalaseema regions of the state in the next three days under the influence of cyclonic storm Nivar.

Cyclone Nivar may cause heavy to extremely heavy rains at isolated places in Rayalaseema and south coastal AP districts on November 25 and 26. Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts are expected to receive light to moderate rains on these days.

State Disaster Management Commissioner K Kanna Babu said the sea would be turbulent and fishermen should not venture in for three days.

Winds with speed ranging from 45 to 65 kmph were expected along the Bay of Bengal coast.

Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said the District Medical and Health Officers concerned have been instructed to position medical teams consisting of a medical officer and other staff at identified relief centres.

Bhaskar also directed that at least two ambulances be kept ready in each primary health centre to meet any eventuality. Drugs and disinfectants should also be kept ready, he said.

The South Central Railway said the Bhubaneswar- Puducherry-Bhubaneswar trains have been partially cancelled between Chennai Egmore and Puducherry on November 24 and 25. The Puducherry-Howrah express has been cancelled partially between Puducherry and Villupuram on November 25.

IMD Warning Issued For Tamil Nadu, State Govt Reviews Situation

With depression predicted to cross the Tamil Nadu coast as severe cyclonic storm on November 25, the state government reviewed the situation on Monday, asking the respective district administrations to be on guard.

The Tamil Nadu government announced suspension of inter and intra-district bus services in seven districts from Tuesday, till further orders. Trains were partially and fully cancelled in some districts.

The depression in Bay of Bengal is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin.

Under its influence, widespread rainfall/thunderstorm were “very likely” over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal during November 24 to 26, the IMD warned.

Isolated extremely heavy rainfall was very likely over Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ariyalur and Perambalur, Kallakurichi, Puducherry, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chengalpattu between Wednesday and Thursday.

As a result, a high alert has been sounded in Nagapattinam and fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea till November 26.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who held a review meeting here, asked his cabinet colleagues and officials to remain fully alert and take appropriate precautionary measures.

Evacuation of people in vulnerable areas, facilities, including supply of food in relief camps, safeguarding boats and nets of fishermen, taking up fogging operations, monitoring water levels in big lakes and provision of mobile communication units should be ensured, the CM said.

Since the cyclone is slated to cross the coast in north Tamil Nadu, six NDRF teams should be stationed in Cuddalore and two in Chennai with required equipment, he said.

He announced suspension of inter and intra-district bus services in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Villupuram and Chengalpattu districts from 1 PM on Tuesday till further orders and appealed the people to avoid travel by own vehicles except for essential requirements.

People should stock themselves with torch lights, candles and matchboxes. They should also avoid venturing out during gusty winds, he added.

Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar and Electricity Minister P Thangamani expressed preparedness of their ministries to respond to any challenges arising due to the cyclone.

Udayakumar told reporters that all arrangements are in place to face the cyclone and special attention will be given to follow social distancing norms in the relief shelters owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those living in low lying areas should immediately shift to relief camps, he said.

Thangamani said power supply will be cut off when the storm crosses the coast on November 25, as a precaution. About 1.5 lakh electric poles are available with the government, he added.

Cuddalore district has been given priority due to heavy rains.

30 NDRF Teams Deployed:

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has earmarked 30 teams to launch rescue and relief operations in view of cyclone Nivar. A senior NDRF officer said while 12 teams have been pre-deployed, 18 are on standby in these states and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

These teams will further be deployed in coordination with local authorities for relief and rescue works, including assistance in evacuation of locals from affected areas.

A NDRF team has about 35 to 45 personnel, depending on the task at hand, and they are equipped with tree and pole cutters, basic medicines and other tools to help affected people.

The National Crisis Management Committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, on Monday met in New Delhi and apart from reviewing various measures in view of the cyclone, it also directed various stakeholders, including state governments concerned, to continue to work with an aim of zero loss of life and early restoration of normalcy in affected areas.

(With inputs from PTI)