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Cyclone Nivar is fast approaching Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and parts of Andhra: All you need to know

On November 23, SN Pradhan, DG, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said that 12 teams have been pre-deployed, while 18 are on standby across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, in view of Cyclone Nivar.

Cyclone Nivar is heading towards India. According to a circular issued by Indian Meteorological Department at 01:45 PM on November 25, 2020, Nivar is currently over southwest Bay of Bengal, heading towards Tamil Nadu and other southeastern states. It is currently travelling at a speed of 11 KM per hour and will intensify in the next six hours.

As per the circular, the cyclone will cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during midnight of the 25th. In the early hours of November 26, several regions may get hit with very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph. It read, “It is very likely to move northwestwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during midnight of 25th and early hours of November 26, 2020, as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.”

On November 25, several regions, including Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Chennai, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu, Myladuthirai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Kallakurchi, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Puducherry and Karaikal districts are likely to receive extremely heavy rainfall. On November 26, Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore districts of Tamilnadu; Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam and Cuddappa districts of Andhra Pradesh and adjoining southeast Telangana are likely to be hit by the cyclone.

On November 23, SN Pradhan, DG, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said that 12 teams have been pre-deployed, while 18 are on standby across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, in view of Cyclone Nivar.

Severe damage predicted by the experts

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, Nagapattinam, Myladuthurai, Cuddalore, Villupuram, and Chengalpattu districts of Tamilnadu and Karaikal in Puducherry may face the total destruction of thatched and kutcha houses. The roads are like to get damaged by the cyclone. Railways and power lines are going to be affected severely.

In areas including Tiruvarur, Kanchipuram, Chennai, Tiruvallaur districts of Tamilnadu and adjoining Andhra Pradesh may face the wrath of the cyclone. Experts believe that the power and communication lines may get damaged during the course of the cyclone. Significant damage to banana plants, coastal crops and papaya trees etc is expected in this region.

Warning issued for fishermen

The fishing operations have been completely suspended in the regions expected to get hit by Nivar. People living in the affected areas have been asked to stay in safe places and indoors. The evacuation process in some areas has been started. Motorboats and small ships have been advised not to head to the sea.

Cyclone Nivar is the fourth cyclone to hit North Indian Ocean region in 2020

In 2020, this is going to be the fourth time a cyclone has taken shape in the North Indian Ocean region. Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia on November 22, Cyclone Amphan hit eastern India in May, and Cyclone Nisarga hit Maharashtra in June. Since 2018, Nivar will be the second cyclone to hit Tamil Nadu after Cyclone Gaja.

Name of the cyclone

The name Nivar was given to the cyclone based on the guidelines provided by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) that suggest the countries in every region are supposed to give names for cyclones. In 2020, 169 cyclones have been named by 13 countries included in the North Indian Ocean Region. India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen are part of this region. Every country gave 13 names for the year 2020.

The expected path of Cyclone Nivar, image via IMD

Naming the cyclone makes it easier for the media to report the incidents. It helps in increasing the preparedness of the region that may get hit by the cyclone. Nivar was selected from the names suggested by Iran, while Gati was given by India and Nisarga was given by Bangladesh.

The safety measures suggested by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

When the cyclone starts

  • Keep a check on the warnings on the radio or other channels.
  • Pass the information from authorized sources to others.
  • Do not believe in rumours. Cross-check everything.

When your area is under cyclone warning

  • If your house is securely built on the high ground, take shelter in the safe part of the house. However, if asked to evacuate, do not hesitate to leave the place.
  • Make sure to keep your cell phone etc., charged. Keep plastic bags to store your electronic devices safely.
  • Board up glass windows or put storm shutters in place.
  • Provide strong, suitable support for outside doors.
  • Get extra food, which can be eaten without cooking. Store extra drinking water in suitably covered vessels.
  • Small and loose things, which can fly in strong winds, should be stored safely in a room.
  • Switch off the electrical mains in your house.

When Evacuation is instructed

  • Pack essentials for yourself and your family to last a few days, including food for babies, children and elders, medication etc.
  • Head for the proper shelter or evacuation points indicated for your area.
  • At the shelter, follow the instructions of the person in charge.
  • Remain in the shelter until you are informed that it is safe to leave.

For more detailed guidelines, you can refer to NDMA’s website here.

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Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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