Zoom News : Nov 25, 2020, 07:29 PM
Chennai: Severe cyclone 'Nivar' would intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and it is likely to cross the coast between Tamil Nadu and Puducherry before dawn on Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said.Chennai airport will remain shut from 7 pm today to 7 am tomorrow as Cyclone Nivar approaches the Tamil Nadu coast.Chief Minister K Palaniswami declared Thursday a public holiday for 13 districts including Chennai, Vellore, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Chengelpet and Kancheepuram considering in view of the cyclone.Wednesday had already been declared a holiday by Palaniswami on November 24.The IMD said Nivar would cross over between Karaikal and Mamallapuram "during the midnight of November 25 and early hours of 26 November."Earlier at 2.30 AM, Cyclone Nivar moved west-north westwards with a speed of six kmph and lay centred in the southwest Bay of Bengal, said IMD.Meanwhile, rains lashed Chennai as Cyclone Nivar lay 350 km South-East of Chennai moving North-West."While crossing wind speed likely to touch 145 kmph," said the Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Chennai.Meenambakkam in Chennai received 120 mm rainfall from 8.30 AM yesterday to 5.30 AM today, as per India Meteorological Department.Nearly 1,200 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue personnel have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and 800 others are on standby.Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea, while people in coastal areas are also being evacuated to shelter houses.Meanwhile, IndiGo flights to or from the southern region, mainly Chennai, have been disrupted. "A total of 49 flights that were scheduled for Wednesday have been cancelled. We will monitor the situation and decide on the further course of action for November 26. We are accommodating passengers on next available flights at no additional charges, waiving off cancellation fee and refunding full ticket amount," Indigo said in a statement.