By Ishank Katyal
Chennai: Three people in Tamil Nadu lost their lives in Cyclone Nivar made a landfall overnight near the costal town of Marakkaram which is 30 km north of Puducherry. Hours later, a severe cyclonic storm arrived and more than 2 lakh people were rescued to safe zones. This cyclone was the fifth strongest category on India’s scale of seven types of storm.
Cyclone Nivar crossed the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast around the Union territory as a severe cyclonic storm between 11.30pm on Wednesday and 2.30am on Thursday with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
“There have been three deaths and three people have been injured. One hundred and one huts damaged and 380 fallen trees have been removed. There is a complete restoration of essential services,” Atulya Mishra, Tamil Nadu’s additional chief secretary, was quoted as saying by ANI.
IMD said the very severe cyclonic storm Nivar over southwest Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 9kmph during past six hours and crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts near Puducherry from 11:30pm on Wednesday night to 2:30am on
Thursday as a very severe cyclonic storm with estimated wind speed of 120-130kmph gusting to 145 kmph.
“It weakened into a Severe Cyclonic Storm with a wind speed of 100 to 110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph and lay centred at 2:30 am on November 26 over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, near Puducherry. The Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘NIVAR’ would continue to move northwestwards and weaken further into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours,” it added.
Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday spoke to chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and assured them of all possible help from the Centre. Shah said the central government is closely monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry after the landfall of the cyclone and that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are on the ground to help the needy.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the wake of Cyclone Nivar. Have spoken to CM Shri @EPSTamilNadu and CM Shri @VNarayanasami and assured all possible help from the centre. NDRF teams already on ground to help people in need,” Shah tweeted.
The cyclone uprooted trees in several areas of Chennai even as incidents of wall collapse were reported from some parts of the state. In Puducherry, heavy downpour and wind uprooted trees, damaged electric poles and several areas were inundated. So far no casualties have been reported so far from any part of the Union territory.
Heavy rains triggered by the storm caused flooding in some streets of Chennai and people were seen walking in knee-deep water in some streets in the south of the Tamil Nadu capital, which has many low-lying areas. Civic body officials said on Twitter that local administration workers have been working to remove fallen trees and power lines.