Cyclone Gaja, classified a Severe Cyclonic Storm by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), is expected to make landfall on Thursday evening between Cuddalore and Pamban in Ramanathapuram district. Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra coasts are likely to see gale winds with windspeed touching 100kmph from Thursday afternoon, according to IMD. The coast of Tamil Nadu is also expected to see high waves, with an advisory issued to fishermen to not venture out into the sea.
As per the 8.30am bulletin by IMD, Cyclone Gaja lies over Southwest Bay of Bengal and moved further west-southwestwards with a speed of 14 kmph. While the Met Dept forecast states that Cyclone Gaja will intensify into a severe cyclonic storm over the next few hours, it likely to weaken before hitting the coast. “While moving west-southwestwards thereafter, it is likely to cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore, around Nagapattinam during 15th November evening/night as a Cyclonic Storm with a wind speed of 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph,” according to IMD.
How Cyclone Gaja has moved over the last 4 days
As of Monday, Cyclone Gaja was at an estimated 740 km east northeast of Chennai and was predicted to make landfall on Thursday, November 15. It was also predicted that the winds would move southwest and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm over a period of 24 hours and the same would maintain for another 24 hours. As seen by the map, the winds have slowly moved over a course of the past few days, and are now predicted to make landfall in parts of Tamil Nadu as well as parts of neighboring areas of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and even Kerala. The eye of the storm is moving at 18 km/hr at present.
Districts that will see heavy rainfall
According to IMD, Cyclone Gaja will bring heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Cuddalore, Nagappattinam, Karaikal, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts will see extreme rainfall – upwards of 20cm – on Thursday.