New Delhi: Storm Nivar over the Bay of Bengal is likely to turn into a “very severe cyclone” by Wednesday night and may cause widespread damage to crops, mud houses and electricity poles in some southern Indian states.
The storm, which is likely to have a sustained wind speed of 120 to 130 kilometres per hour, will cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Wednesday midnight and early hours of Nov. 26, according to the India Meteorological Department. The wind speed may even rise to as much as 145 kilometres, it said in a statement.
Heavy rain is expected in some areas of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for two days from Wednesday, the weather office said. The cyclone will be intense enough to damage crops, plantations, trees, mud houses and communication and electric poles, the statement said, advising fishermen to suspend their operations in the region.
Nivar will likely strengthen to become equivalent to a category 2 hurricane before striking India on Wednesday night, Jason Nicholls, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather said in a Twitter post.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured all possible support to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry state governments.
The Tamil Nadu government plans to open sluice gates of a lake near Chennai as a precautionary measure, which may cause partial flooding in some parts of the metropolitan city, according to regional television news channels.
About 22 teams from the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry, while eight others were ready in reserve, according to S.N. Pradhan, director general of the agency. Another 20 teams are also on standby, it said.
Nivar is the third cyclone to hit Indian coasts since May, when storm Amphan, the biggest cyclone to hit South Asia in two decades, affected millions across the region and killed about 100 people. Cyclone Nisarga crossed the coast near Alibag in neighboring Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra in June.