It was earlier forecasted that the cyclone would cross the coast on Thursday afternoon
Chennai: As cyclone Gaja is expected to make landfall in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Thursday night, extremely heavy rainfall of more than 20 centimetres is likely to occur over the districts of Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi, forecasted the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Cyclone Gaja,which has been changing its pattern and direction over the last few days, intensified into a severe storm. While it was initially expected to hit the coast of Chennai, it has moved south west wards and will cross Tamil Nadu between Pamban and Cuddalore around Nagapattinam with a wind speed of 80-90 kilometre per hour (kmph) gusting to 100 kmph. Gaja is likely to cross Tamil Nadu between 8 pm and 11 pm.
It was earlier forecasted that the cyclone would cross the coast on Thursday afternoon.
Cyclone warning signal 10, which signifies that very severe cyclone is expected to cross was hoisted at the Nagapattinam port.
“Heavy to very heavy rain is also likely to occur over remaining districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,” said the IMD bulletin.
The cyclone will also bring isolated rains to Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
People residing in low lying areas have been moved to shelters arranged by the government. Over 5,000 relief centres have been kept ready in all the 13 coastal districts of Tamil Nadu. As per the advisory of the meteorological department fishing operations have remained suspended.
The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority has issued helpline numbers and have been issuing alerts through social media, radio, television and TN SMART mobile app. While the state helpline is 1070, district helpline number is 1077. A list of Do’s and Don’ts has also been issued by the government.
Revenue and disaster management, mitigation minister R.B. Udayakumar said that all rescue and relief arrangements were in place.
While nine teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, two are in Puducherry to provide emergency assistance.
About seven other teams belonging to the Tamil Nadu government’s disaster response force are also deployed to face the onslaught of Gaja, said the minister.
While schools and colleges were remained shut in the districts were Gaja is likely to hit, universities have cancelled the examinations and private companies were advised to shut down by 4pm on Thursday.
Train services have been partially or fully suspended.
On Tuesday, Central Water Commission of the Union ministry of water resources had issued an advisory to keep the dams in the state on high alert.
“Extremely heavy rainfall in the catchment area is sufficient to fill them up and lapse time between rainfall and peak inflow can be less than 24 hours and, in some cases, it can be as low as 6-12 hours,” said the advisory note addressed to Tamil Nadu government.
It also said that round the clock vigil is needed in all dams especially in small and medium dams.
Curtosy from livemint.com