Chennai, Nov 25 (IANS) The very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, expected to cross the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts around midnight, currently lay centred at 80 km from Cuddalore, 85 km from Puducherry and 160 km from Chennai, the India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.
According to the IMD, Nivar is expected to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Mamallapuran and Karaikal around midnight or early Thursday with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph, gusting to 145 kmph.
The cyclone, moving at a speed of 14 kmph for the past six hours, is being monitored by the Doppler Weather Radar at Chennai, Karaikal and Sriharikota.
Meanwhile, incessant rains continued in Chennai and its suburbs throughout the day inundating roads, residential apartments and houses.
Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday announced Thursday as public holiday for 16 districts viz., Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Tiruvannamalai, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Kallakurichi,Villuppuram, Tiruppattur, Vellore, Ranipet, Nagapattinam, including Mayiladuthurai in the State.
The government has declared a public holiday on Wednesday in a bid to reduce the hardship to a large section of the people.
Similarly, the Puducherry government too has announced Thursday as public holiday.
The Southern Railway has cancelled suburban train services and also some long distance trains owing to Nivar.
The Chennai Airport was shut down for 12 hours from 7 p.m. on Wednesday to 7 a.m.
Meanwhile, about 1.33 lakh people have been housed in about 1,516 relief camps.
The government has identified 4,133 locations that would affected by Nivar and the District Collectors concerned have been instructed to take special care.
A total of 43,409 persons including 14,232 women have been deployed to provide assistance and relief for people affected by the cyclone
Cyclone relief camps have also been set up 3,344 locations.
The Indian Coast Guard said four of its ships are at sea with disaster relief items for immediate use in affected areas.
The Indian Army has mobilised eight teams from Bengalur, two from Coimbatore and 12 from Chennai for rescue operations.
Indian Navy ship INS Sumitra is sailing from Vishakapatnam with three Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks/relief material and five flood relief teams for rendering assistance in the aftermath of the cyclone.
INS Sumitra, along with INS Jyoti, can be utilised for transferring relief material along the Tamil Nadu coast, where required.
Earlier, INS Jyothi reached TN shores for the relief operation.
On Wednesday morning, state-owned Aavin managed to supply milk to its lakhs of customers without any problem. Petrol bunks and shops are functioning as usual.
The state government, after a gap of five years, has also decided to release water from the Chembarambakkam lake and flood warning has been issued to people living in the low-lying areas near the Adyar river.
The Met Department has forecast fairly widespread to widespread rainfall/thunderstorm activity very likely over coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema during November 25 and 26 and southeast Telangana on Thursday.
Isolated extremely heavy rainfall activity also very likely over coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Chennai, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu, Myladuthirai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Kallakurchi, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Puducherry and Karaikal districts); over Nellore and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday and over Rayalseema and southeast Telangana on Thursday.