Cyclone Nivar has been moving northwestwards with a speed of 13 kilometres per hour (kmph) for the last six hours, said the India Meteorological Department in its 8 pm bulletin. In its 9.30 pm bulletin, however, IMD said, “The cyclone will cross the Puducherry coast at mid-night with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph. The landfall process will commence within one hour.”
As per the 8.30 pm bulletin by the IMD, the very severe cyclonic storm Nivar was 80 kilometres east-southeast of Cuddalore, 85 kilometres east-southeast of Puducherry and 160 kilometres south-southeast of Chennai. “It is very likely to move northwestwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during midnight of November 25 and early hours of November 26, as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph,” said IMD’s forecast on the cyclone’s movement, intensity and landfall.
In Coastal and North Interior Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal, the IMD forecasts extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and rainfall at most places on November 25. South Coastal Andhra Pradesh is likely to receive isolated to very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall on November 26.
The Tamil Nadu government has declared a public holiday in 16 districts on November 26 as the landfall is predicted late on Wednesday night or the early hours of Thursday. The 16 districts include Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Thiruvannamalai, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chennai, Chengalpattu, Thiruvallur, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Kallakurichi, Villupuram, Tirupattur, Vellore, Ranipet and Nagapattinam.
Further, the state government has also ordered all its offices to remain closed on Thursday. This includes all local bodies, government undertakings, corporations, boards, banks and financial institutions. Essential services have been allowed to continue.
Services that have been suspended in Chennai
Chennai Airport operations will remain suspended from 7 pm on Wednesday to 7 am on Thursday. The decision has been taken with the safety of passengers in mind.
Chennai Metro railway services have been suspended from 8 pm on Wednesday. The last trains from all the terminals departed at 7 pm. The services for Thursday will be announced based on the weather conditions.
The Greater Chennai traffic police have closed all major routes across Chennai’s different zones in the city. The roads will remain closed until further notice.