Authorities were using chainsaws and cranes to expedite the process of clearing trees that had blocked the city's roads.

Authorities clearing trees uprooted due to Cyclone Nivar in ChennaiImage: Dr Alby John
news Cyclone Nivar Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 15:22

Severe cyclonic storm Nivar weakened into a cyclonic storm over coastal Tamil Nadu on Thursday and it is set to further weaken into a deep depression, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. As the cyclone made landfall and decreased in intensity, it uprooted several trees, including in Chennai, in its wake. The Parks Department of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) said that a total of 267 trees had fallen as of 8 am on Thursday.

Zone 10 (Kodambakkam) saw the most trees fallen at 60, followed by Zone 13 (Thiruvottiyur) at 59 and zone five (Royapuram) at 31. The GCC said that it had already cleared 223 trees and work was underway to clear the remaining 44 trees. The Tamil Nadu government said that as of 10 am, 380 trees were uprooted due to the cyclone and most of them had been cleared.

Authorities were using chainsaws and cranes to expedite the process of clearing trees that had blocked the city's roads.

Chennai's IT sector was largely unaffected due to the cyclone, reporting only one tree being uprooted.

V Ramkumar, senior manager, landscaping, Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation (TNRDC), told TNM, "We were adequately prepared and in our jurisdiction, only one tree was uprooted, which we are in the process of removing. We will transplant another tree in its place. We are also planning to transplant 35 more trees in the area, in the near future.”

The fallen trees also uprooted several electricity poles across Chennai. Emergency teams immediately got to work to restore power. The GCC also said that it had responded to 288 complaints of fallen street lamps as of 10 am on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told a news channel that a lot of trees had fallen in the union territory, due to the cyclone and rainfall. Narayanasamy said that low-lying areas were inundated and work was on to drain the water. Fallen trees were being removed. "Power supply was disrupted and it will be soon restored in a phased manner in 12 hours," he said.

Very severe cyclonic storm Nivar made landfall near Puducherry in the wee hours of Thursday even as heavy rains lashed Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday spoke to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Chief Ministers Edappadi K Palaniswami and V Narayanasamy respectively and took stock of the situation in the wake of Cyclone Nivar. In the telephonic conversation, the Home Minister assured both the Chief Ministers of all possible help from the Union government.

With IANS inputs

Read: Cyclone Nivar: Three people killed in rain-related incidents in Chennai