After Cyclone Nivar had hit the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the recent reports from Indian Meteorological Department have stated that the threat has weakened from ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ to ‘severe cyclonic storm’. In a tweet, the department said that the storm would continue to move Northeastwards and weaken further into a deep depression during the next six hours and into a depression by “subsequent six hours”.
Parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are currently witnessing persistent rains and strong winds, resulting in property damage. Thousands of people have been evacuated to storm shelters across Tamil Nadu. As per the latest Tamil Nadu bulletin, three people have lost their lives to the cyclone.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami appealed to people to stay indoors as far as possible. He will be visiting cyclone-hit areas in Cuddalore district later today. The area appears to be the worst affected district in Tamil Nadu, due to cyclone Nivar. Many districts in Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry were declared a holiday today.
The tropical storm, which originated in the Bay of Bengal, forced authorities to shut the Chennai airport, Metro services and bus services ahead of the landfall. Train services were paused as well. While the Chennai airport resumed operations at 9 am, Metro and bus services are expected to start service later today.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and assured all possible support from the Centre, in the wake of cyclone Nivar. He claimed to be “closely monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry”. He added that he had spoken to Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami and Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy.
According to National Disaster Response Force chief SN Pradhan, around 1,200 NDRF personnel have been stationed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as well. An additional 20 teams will be on standby in Odisha's Cuttack, Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, and Thrissur in Kerala.
Andhra Pradesh is expected to receive heavy rainfall as Nivar moves inland. Nellore and Chittoor districts are on alert, as are parts of Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur are expected to face heavy rain. Meanwhile in Karnataka, the Meteorological Department has sounded a yellow alert in Bengaluru Urban and Rural, Kollar, Chikkaballur, Tumakuru, Mandya and Ramanagara.