The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that a cyclone will hit Tamil Nadu on December 2 and that the state and its surrounding areas will receive heavy rainfall. The MeT department has also issued advisories for fishermen living along the state's coastline against this cyclone, which has been christened Nada.
The latest news is that the cyclone is set to weaken as the MeT department states it will turn into a deep depression. But heavy rainfall is expected.
Cyclone NADA to weaken as deep depression and cross the coast. In the next 12 hours cyclone will weaken into a deep depression: MeT— ANI (@ANI_news) December 1, 2016
K Satyagopal, TN Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation Commissioner, told International Business Times, India, that the authorities have already been monitoring the situation in the state and have reactivated all the mechanisms in place to deal with the effects of this tropical storm.
Meanwhile, the state government has ordered the closure of all the schools on Thursday and Friday — December 1 and 2 — in the districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has kept five of its teams — three in Cuddalore and one each in Nagapattinam and Chennai — on standby.
Landfall near Cuddalore
Giving out details about the storm, the IMD said as part of its daily release: "The deep depression over south-east Bay of Bengal moved north-westwards during past six hours with a speed about 25 kmph, intensified into a cyclonic storm 'Nada' over the south-west and adjoining south-east Bay of Bengal and lay centred at 0300 UTC on November 30, near latitude 8.2ºN and longitude 85.3ºE, about 770 km south-east of Chennai, 730 km east-south-east of Puducherry and 450 km east-south-east of Trincomalee."
It also said: "The system is very likely to move west-north-westward, intensify further and cross north [of] the Tamil Nadu coast between Vedaranniyam and Puducherry, close to Cuddalore, by the early hours of December 2. Maximum sustained surface wind speed is estimated to be about 35 knots gusting to 45 knots around the system centre. The state of the sea is high around the system centre."
Advisory, warnings and forecasts
The IMD has also warned fishermen along the TN coast over the next few days: "Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea along and off the coast." The advisory for Thursday and Friday includes the forecast: "Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph very likely along and off the coast."
The Met department has also forecast for TN on Friday: "Heavy to very heavy rainfall [is] very likely at a few places over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, and heavy [rainfall] at isolated places over interior Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Kerala." Rainfall is also forecast for parts of southern interior Karnataka.
Helplines and first responders ready
"Given that the cyclone is expected to make landfall near Cuddalore, we have identified vulnerable areas there and alerted first-responders from the local community," Satyagopal told IBTimes India, adding: "These first responders will be in touch with their zonal teams, and the whole process will be supervised by a nodal officer."
He also said that dedicated helplines were in place all across the state to respond to any and all calls of distress.
The toll-free helpline in Chennai is 1070, while people all across the state can call 1077 to get in touch with the authorities.
Other important helplines
Fire and rescue services: 9445086046 or 044-28554156
Police: 100 or 044-28447777 / 28447755 / 28447701
District Collectorate: 044-25228025
Fire and rescue services: 0413-2336677
Police: 100 or 0413-2334006 / 2231318
Fire and rescue services: 9445086406 or 07
Police: 100 or 04142-284330/295161
District Collectorate: 04142-220700