New Delhi, Nov 25 (efe-epa).- Indian authorities on Wednesday ordered the suspension of all activity in various southern areas to brace for cyclonic storm Nivar, which is set to make landfall around midnight in the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry regions with winds of up to 145 kilometers per hour (90 mph).
“It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts (…) during mid-night of 25th and early hours of 26th November 2020 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph,” the India Meteorological Department said in a press release.
The southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry are being lashed by heavy rains since Tuesday night as the storm approaches the coast.
All activity at Tamil Nadu’s Chennai airport and bus services in seven districts of the state have been suspended.
The state government has declared holidays on Wednesday and Thursday and only essential services are being allowed to operate.
At least 2,700 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas that could witness flooding due to heavy rains, the Chennai municipal corporation said.
Puducherry has also banned large gatherings and people’s movement until Thursday while suspending all commercial activity except food stores and hospitals.
More than 1,000 officers of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in the districts that could be affected the most, the emergency force said on Wednesday.
The IMD has said that strong cyclone winds can cause heavy damage to houses and affect electric and communication lines along with the possibility of roads being cut off and crops getting destroyed.
Nivar is set to be the third major storm to hit the country this year after at least six people were killed along the western coast by cyclone Nisarga in June, while Amphan caused widespread destruction in eastern India and Bangladesh in May, killing around 90 people. EFE-EPA