Cyclone Nivar: Landfall Likely at 2 AM, Over 1 Lakh Evacuated in Tamil Nadu | Top Developments
Cyclone Nivar: During the day, gusty winds and heavy rains lashed parts of Tamil Nadu leaving several areas inundated and as a precautionary measure, over one lakh people have been evacuated from the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and housed them in shelters besides disconnecting power supply in vulnerable areas.
New Delhi: The 'very severe' cyclone Nivar is expected to make a landfall along the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry coast later today or before dawn hours on Thursday, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD). During the day, gusty winds and heavy rains also lashed parts of the state leaving several areas inundated and as a precautionary measure, over one lakh people have been evacuated from the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and housed them in shelters besides disconnecting power supply in vulnerable areas.
Here are some of the top developments that took place considering the safety of people in view of the cyclone:
1. Over one lakh people have been evacuated across Tamil Nadu and in Puducherry about 1,000-2,000 people have been evacuated by the local authorities and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar said 1,03,291 people including children have been housed in 1,000 relief centres. Food, water and all other essentials including masks to help prevent coronavirus have been made available to them in the relief centres, he said. A senior official said subsequently, the number has increased to 1,21,152. According to the government, these people have been housed in shelters at Ariyalur, Chengelpet, Chennai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Perambalur, Ranipet, Thanjavur, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruvarur, and Villupuram districts.
2. NDRF Director-General SN Pradhanmay said that Cyclone Nivar may make landfall after 2 am on November 26. Over one lakh people have been evacuated across Tamil Nadu and more than 1,000 people have been evacuated in Puducherry. The landfall is expected to take place between Mamallapuram and Karaikal. The storm, 250 km off Chennai and 190 km and 180 km from Puducherry and Cuddalore respectively, is very likely to move northwestwards and cross coasts as a "very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph".
3. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister statewide public holiday on Thursday (November 26) including Chennai, Vellore, Cuddalore, Viluppuram, Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Chengalpattu, and Perambalore. The Puducherry government has also declared Thursday as a public holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act for all departments and educational institutions in the union territory and Karaikal regions.
4. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has earmarked a total of 50 teams -- with 30 being deployed on the ground in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh -- in view of the cyclone moving ahead from the Bay of Bengal towards the coastal areas. "Out of these, 15 teams have been deployed in costal districts of Tamil Nadu. Six have been positioned at Cuddalore, three at Viluppuram, two teams each at Chennai and Chengalpattu, while one team each at Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam districts," an NDRF spokesperson said. Twenty teams have been kept on standby at Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh), Cuttack (Odisha) and Thrissur (Kerala). Besides, three teams are deployed at Pondicherry and one team at Karaikal, he said. Three NDRF teams have been deployed at Nellore district and one team at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, the spokesperson said.
5. As a precautionary measure in Tamil Nadu, electricity distribution was stopped to consumers in several regions falling under several districts and especially areas that have overhead power transmission lines witnessed power cut since noon. Civic authorities meanwhile removed banners and hoardings in several districts including Chennai and Vellore expecting squally winds. Police personnel have also placed barricades in arterial roads and important intersections in coastal districts to bar movement of vehicles and the government appealed to the people to stay indoors. The Tamil Nadu government also appealed to people living in coastal districts to not venture out of their homes and requested those living in low lying areas to reach the cyclone shelters in their respective regions.
6. The Southern Railways has cancelled over a dozen special trains on November 25 and 26 scheduled to destinations that are likely to be affected by unprecedented rains/cyclonic landfall and to other destinations due to operational difficulties. For the trains fully cancelled in view of the Cyclone Nivar, full refund of fare will be granted on ticket cancellations. The time limit for availing refunds has also been extended to six months from the date of journey, the Railways said. For trains cancelled partially, passengers can avail full refund for the untraveled portion until six months from the date of scheduled departure of the train, while auto refund is also available for the tickets bought online. Meanwhile, the Chennai Metro Rail, which operated minimum services, said operations would end by 8 pm on November 25 and services would resume on November 26 depending on the weather.
7. Chennai airport authorities said Aircraft operations at the airport will remain suspended from 7 pm of November 25 till 7 am of November 26. The decision was taken considering the safety aspect of passengers and the severity of the approaching cyclone, said the Chennai (MAA) Airport authorities. They also requested the passengers to check with their concerned airline(s) for further updates. IndiGo flights to or from the southern region, mainly Chennai, have also been disrupted. In a statement, Indigo said, "A total of 49 flights that were scheduled for Wednesday have been cancelled. We will monitor the situation and decide on the further course of action for November 26. We are accommodating passengers on next available flights at no additional charges, waiving off cancellation fee and refunding full ticket amount."
8. For the first time in five years as a precautionary measure, the gates of Chembarambakkam reservoir were opened Wednesday. The decision to open the shutters of sprawling dam was taken as its storage level touched 3,000 million cubic feet against its full capacity of 3,645 Mcft amid forecast of heavy rains in the next two days under the influence of the severe cyclone 'Nivar' set to cross the coast before dawn on Thursday. CM K Palaniswami inspected the dam premises and reviewed the precautionary measures and the outflow and advised the officials to "carry out their work cautiously and without causing any inconvenience to the people."
9. The Puducherry government on Wednesday said the administrative machinery is fully geared up to meet any exigency, while Chief Minister V Narayanasamy visited coastal villages to monitor steps taken to ensure the safety of fishermen community. In a video message, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi appealed to the residents to stay indoors and asked those living in low lying areas to move to safer places. "The entire government machinery is at your service and listen to the advice of the government for safety," she said. A total of 200 relief camps have been established in the whole of Puducherry region with basic amenities, including food.
10. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said all AAP volunteers should be ready to help wherever needed in view of severe cyclonic storm 'Nivar' that is expected to hit Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts later in the day. The AAP national convenor said he hopes the central and state governments are equipped to handle the situation. He tweeted, "My prayers for the safety of coastal people of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh from cyclone Nivar. Hope state govts and central govt are all equipped to handle this cyclone. All AAP volunteers should be ready to help wherever needed."
Published:Wed, November 25, 2020 9:04pm | Updated:Wed, November 25, 2020 9:40pm