Cyclone Nivar made landfall near Puducherry in the early hours of November 26, bringing heavy rains to the Union Territory and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, officials from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
‘Very severe cyclonic storm’ Nivar weakened into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ after crossing the coast near Puducherry, according to the weather agency.
“There were no immediate reports of loss of life due to the Cyclone Nivar which uprooted trees. Incidents of wall collapse were reported from some parts of Tamil Nadu,” news agency PTI quoted state Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar as saying.
The IMD had earlier predicted that Cyclone Nivar would make landfall near Puducherry with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph, gusting up to 145 kmph. The landfall process began late night on November 25.
“Very severe cyclonic Storm NIVAR: weakens into a Severe Cyclonic storm,” IMD said in a tweet.
S Balachandran, the Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said rain is likely to continue in Tamil Nadu. “The storm now lies inside the land area. There will, however, be rainfall and strong winds as well,” Balachandran told PTI. Udhayakumar said there were no reports of loss of life or crop damage. “There is no loss of lives due to the rains. People have given us full cooperation,” he said.
“It’s a solace that nothing untoward happened and the weakening of the cyclone is good news,” he added. The Tamil Nadu minister said about 2.5 lakh people were housed in cyclone shelters in the state as part of precautionary measures.
According to the inputs received so far, crops and groves are safe in the state, Udhayakumar told reporters.
However, the situation would be reviewed and based on its outcome, insurance payout and compensation to farmers, if any, would be announced by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, he said.
Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu recorded the highest rainfall at 24.6 cm, followed by 23.7 cm in Puducherry from 8.30 pm on November 25 till 2.30 am on Thursday.
Nagapattinam recorded 6.3 cm rainfall, Karaikal 8.6 cm and Chennai 8.9 cm during the same period. Meanwhile, revenue, civic and police authorities were on their toes coordinating and removing uprooted trees using heavy-duty motor equipment and backhoe loaders.
According to initial estimates, over 150 trees were uprooted in Tamil Nadu alone. As the storm began crossing coast, the rainfall stopped briefly. It returned with strong winds in some localities close to the city and the suburban shoreline.
The approach roads to Chennai’s Marina Beach, off the arterial Kamaraj Salai, were flooded and sheets of water reached close to the main road where the city’s fishermen had securely tied up their boats.