Anna University has announced the cancellation of all exams scheduled on Thursday, November 15 as Tamil Nadu awaits the onslaught of Cyclone Gaja.
The university said that a new date for examinations would be announced at a later date.
On Wednesday, Pondicherry University cancelled all exams scheduled for Thursday at all its centres in Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe, Yanam and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
As of Thursday morning, Cyclone Gaja is about 370 km east-southeast of Chennai and 370 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam.
An IMD bulletin issued at 8.30 am on Thursday said that the cyclonic storm has moved west-southwestwards with a speed of 14 kmph over the past six hours. Gaja is expected to make landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore, around Nagapattinam during the evening/ night of November 15 as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 80-90 kmph, gusting to 100 kmph.
The latest bulletin by the IMD has warned of storm surges of height of about 1 metre above astronomical tide in low-lying areas of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry.
The bulletin also cautioned against damage to power supply lines.
“Major damage to thatched huts/houses, rooftops may blow off and unattached metal sheets may fly. Damage to power and communication lines. Major damage to Kutcha and minor damage to Pucca roads. Breaking of tree branches and uprooting of large avenue trees. Damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards. Sea water inundation in low lying area after erosion of Kutcha embankments,” it said.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority has issued an advisory on what to do before and after the cyclone.
The NDMA has asked citizens to keep mobile phone charged, follow news updates, secure documents and valuables, among other things.
In addition to this, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, the Special Officer for Disaster Management in Cuddalore, advised citizens to drink sufficient water, charge phones and power banks.
"People should not be without a communication link. It may take up to 10 hours to restore power," he said. He also requested people living in huts and tin-roofed houses to go to shelters that have been kept ready by the district administration, if they are affected.