Chennai, Nov 26, 2020: At least three people were killed and three others injured in Tamil Nadu as Cyclone Nivar slammed into the southern state and Puducherry early on Thursday, uprooting trees and power lines, officials said, according to news agency ANI. 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 120-130kmph, 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.
Some residents in south Chennai had parked cars on a bridge over fears of flooding. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu ahead of the storm’s landfall.
Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy visited different areas of the Union territory to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Nivar. Narayanasamy said that no loss of life has been reported in Puducherry in the wake of the cyclone. NDRF personnel cleared the uprooted trees in the Kamaraj Nagar area to make way for the public. “Heavy rainfall of 23 centimetres in 24 hours was observed. No report of loss of life. We have never seen such torrential rains here. Electricity in the city will be restored within 12 hours,” Narayanasamy said, according to ANI.