Cyclone Nivar over southwest Bay of Bengal is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the wee hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 12 hours, crossing Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts during November 25 late evening, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its bulletin at 9 pm on Tuesday.
It added that Cyclone Nivar has moved westwards about 320 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 350 km southeast of Puducherry and 410 km east-southeast of Chennai.
"It is very likely to move west-northwestwards for the next six hours and then northwestwards. It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram during November 25 late evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph," IMD said.
In view of Cyclone Nivar, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting on Tuesday through videoconferencing with the chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh and secretaries of different ministries. Gauba assured them all necessary assistance to overcome this situation.
Gauba said that the aim should be to ensure that there is no loss of life, the damage is minimum and normalcy is restored in power, telecom and other important sectors in the shortest possible time.
The CSs informed the NCMC about their preparedness, while the IMD DG briefed the committee about the latest situation of the cyclone.
"The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) DG also informed the meeting about the preparedness to meet the situation in the next three days. As many as 30 teams of the NDRF have so far been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh and 20 additional teams have been kept on standby," an official release of Ministry of Earth Science read.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea, while people in coastal areas are also being evacuated to shelter houses.
Meanwhile, IndiGo flights to or from the southern region, mainly Chennai, have been disrupted.
"A total of 49 flights that were scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) have been cancelled. We will monitor the situation and decide on the further course of action for November 26. We are accommodating passengers on next available flights at no additional charges, waiving off cancellation fee and the refunding full ticket amount," Indigo said in a statement.