The India Met Department on Wednesday said that a cyclone, brewing in the Bay of Bengal, is expected to hit the Tamil Nadu coast on December 2. Weather officials said the cyclone, which has been named Nada, is likely to make landfall near Cuddalore between Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Nada is currently about 770 km south east of Chennai and is gaining strength as it moves westwards. “Wind speeds reaching 45-55 kmph and rising to 65 kmph will begin along and off the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from December 1,” a Met department official told NDTV. However, another weather expert allayed fears of a severe cyclone. The official told The Hindu that Nada may lose its strength by the time it crosses Tamil Nadu coast.
While Chennai will receive moderate rainfall from Wednesday night, areas in north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will face a heavy downpour from Thursday. Weather officials have also predicted light to moderate rainfall in Kerala on Friday.
The looming cyclone has made sea conditions rough. The weather department has advised fishermen against venturing into the sea from Wednesday evening while those already at sea have been asked to return to the coast as early as possible.
Meanwhile Cuddalore, where the cyclone is likely to make landfall, is gearing up to provide all possible help. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said his administration is on its toes. While shelter homes are being kept ready to accommodate evacuated people, the chief minister also claimed that storm water drains have been cleaned up to mitigate the possibility of flooding.
The north-east monsoon usually manages to record about 48% rainfall in Tamil Nadu in November and December. However, the state has not had any rain in November yet. November is likely to be one of the driest months the state has had in the past few decades, skymetweather.com said.
In December 2015, four districts in Tamil Nadu – Chennai, Cuddalore, Tiruvallore and Kancheepuram – were flooded after heavy rainfall. At least 450 people died in the rain.