Headlines November 27, 2020
Cyclone Nivar weakens, heavy rains in parts of Tamil Nadu
Cyclone Nivar weakened from a very severe cyclonic storm” to a “severe cyclonic storm and made landfall near the town of Marakkanam in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
Over two lakh people were evacuated to safety in the state given that this was rated in the fifth category of the worst cyclone on India’s scale of seven storm types. While the damage assessment is on, the state governments say they have been working amid heavy rainfall and flooding in many parts.
Puducherry saw heavy rainfall of 20 cm in the last 20 hours, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said, adding that the state is still reviewing damages. “Puducherry has been waterlogged, and lots of trees have fallen,” he said this morning. There is power disruption in many parts of the union territory.
The tropical storm, which originated in Bay of Bengal, forced authorities in the southern states to declare a public holiday until Thursday, close the Chennai airport and metro services. The cyclone “has completely moved to the land, and “it has weakened into a severe cyclonic storm.
Puducherry and coastal districts of Tamil Nadu including Cuddalore and Nagapattinam, continued to receive rain and experience heavy winds. More than two lakh people were moved to cyclone shelters in the two states.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami appealed to people to stay indoors as far as possible and said over 4,000 “vulnerable” locations had been identified. Local officials have been told to ensure peoples’ safety. The Disaster Management Minister RB Udhaya Kumar said: “We are waiting for details on damages. The Chief Minister would announce them along with relief and compensation.”
Around 1,200 National Disaster Response Force personnel have been stationed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as well.
The Indian Navy is closely monitoring the movement of Nivar, and was in constant touch with officials of both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments. Naval ships, aircraft and rescue and diving teams have been kept on standby.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted earlier, “Spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Shri Edappadi K Palaniswami and Puducherry Chief Minister Shri V Narayanasamy regarding the situation in the wake of Cyclone Nivar. Assured all possible support from the Centre. I pray for the safety and well-being of those living in the affected areas.”