The deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm. In a bulletin issued at 8.30 am on Tuesday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that Cyclone Nivar lay centred at about 410 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 450 km southeast of Chennai, as of 5.30 am on Tuesday. "It is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours. It is very likely to move west-northwestwards for the next 12 hours and then northwestwards. It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry on November 25 as a severe cyclonic storm, with a wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph," the bulletin stated.
The IMD has predicted rainfall at many places in Tamil Nadu, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema region in Andhra, besides parts of south interior Karnataka and Telangana. The rain is also expected to be accompanied with strong winds, with the IMD predicting that coastal districts of north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry could even see winds of upto 120 kmph. "Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph very likely over adjoining west central Bay of Bengal and along and off south Andhra Pradesh (Nellore and Chittoor districts), Gulf of Mannar and along and off districts of south coastal districts of Tamil Nadu on November 25," the IMD said.
The IMD also issued a storm surge warning, stating that, "Tidal waves of about 1m height above the astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of north coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry near the place of landfall."
Fishing operations have been completely suspended in parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, with authorities warning fishermen against sailing out in the rough sea.
The IMD said that the cyclone could damage thatched houses and huts, with possibility of roof tops being blown off and unattached metal sheets flying away. It also predicted damage to power and communication lines and roads, besides breaking of tree branches, uprooting of large trees and crop damage.
The state governments of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have already alerted their district officials and have put teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on standby.