Chennai: Heavy rains lashed Chennai city and suburbs, as the cyclonic storm ‘Nivar’ over the southwest Bay of Bengal moved westwards with a speed of five kmph during the past six hours and lay centred over southwest Bay of Bengal about 380 km eastsoutheast of Puducherry and 430 km south-southeast of Chennai.
In its latest update on Tuesday, the Met office said it is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during subsequent 12 hrs.
It is very likely to move west-northwestwards for next 12 hours and then northwestwards and cross the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram, about 55 km from here, around Puducherry tomorrow late evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph. The met office has forecast extreme heavy rains in eight districts of the state.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswmi, who reviewed the cyclone preparedness, said a holiday has been declared for all government offices across the State tomorrow.
A decision on extending the holiday would be taken depending upon the emerging situation, he said, talking to reporters, at the State Disaster Management Centre. He said those involved in essential services (like police, fire service and electricity department) would, however, be on duty tomorrow.
Reiterating his appeal to the people not to venutre out of their houses till an announcement was made that the cyclone has crossed the coast, he said the government has declared a holiday for tomorrow to ensure that people remained indoors when the cyclone crosses the coast.
He said depending upon the rains, the Chembarambakkam reservoir, one of the main drinking water sources of the city, surplus water would be released. The reservoir was fast filling up and was inching towards its full level of 23 ft.