Twenty teams have also been kept on standby at Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Cuttack (Odisha) and Thrissur (Kerala).

NDRF personnel inspect an area of Devanerikuppam near Mamallapuram before the landfall of Cyclone Nivar in Mamallapuram Wednesday Nov 25 2020PTI
news Cyclone Nivar Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 20:50

Over one lakh people have been evacuated from the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in order to "tide over the worst challenge" put up by Cyclone Nivar that is expected to make a landfall in the early hours of Thursday, the NDRF chief said on Wednesday. The National Disaster Response Force 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.

Twenty teams have been kept on standby at Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh), Cuttack (Odisha) and Thrissur (Kerala). SN Pradhan, the director general of the federal disaster response force, said all preparations have been done to "tide over the worst challenge that is put up by the cyclone.” 

"As per reports last received, the cyclone may make a landfall a little later than earlier predicted and it could be after 2-3 am on Thursday or on November 26," Pradhan said in a recorded audio-visual message.

The speed is going to be that of a very severe cyclonic storm which is 130-145 kms per hour with gusting winds, he said. The landfall is expected to take place between Mamallapuram and Karaikal.

"As per latest reports, more than 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 NDRF," he said.

He said there is "perfect coordination" between the state and central authorities which are monitoring the cyclone and the force is prepared with equipments like cutters and boats to help rescue those trapped and ensure resumption of normal life.

"A total of 25 NDRF teams are deployed on the likely affected coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh after consultation with state authorities.

"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.

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.

Sensing severity of the situation, five additional NDRF teams have also been kept on alert at Vijayawada and two teams at Vishakhapatnam for immediate backup, he said.

"In view of the current COVID-19 scenario, NDRF teams are equipped with appropriate PPE/special kits," he added.

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