At least 32 revenue districts under 13 districts have been put on high alert in Tamil Nadu with a cyclonic storm expected to hit the state on November 15, The New Indian Express reported. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has directed the administration to remain vigilant and four high-level meetings have already been held to discuss preventive measures, said Tamil Nadu Minister for Disaster Management RB Udayakumar on Sunday.
The storm called Gaja has been forming over parts of the Bay of Bengal and is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Monday, the India Meteorological Department said on Sunday. The “depression” had intensified into a deep one on Saturday evening and became a cyclonic storm on Sunday morning. The storm was centred about 460 km west-northwest of Port Blair on Sunday morning.
The India Meteorological Department has issued a cyclone alert for the coastal areas of north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining southern Andhra Pradesh.
The storm is likely to gradually weaken and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh between Cuddalore and Sriharikota on November 15, bringing heavy rain to these places. From Thursday, heavy to very heavy rain is forecast in Tamil Nadu, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema, the IMD said.
“We have received information that a deep depression [over southeast Bay of Bengal] would intensify into a cyclone and have put 13 districts, mainly those along the coast, on high alert,” said Udayakumar. “We are giving priority to districts like Chennai and Kancheepuram by alerting the district administrations, which have taken necessary preventive measures.”
Revenue Administration Commissioner K Satyagopal in Tirunelveli said that medical teams were standing by in all districts, PTI reported.
Area Cyclone Warning Centre Director S Balachandran said the northern Tamil Nadu coast will receive moderate to heavy rainfall in isolated places from the night of November 14. “On November 15, many places will receive moderate rainfall and isolated places will get heavy rainfall,” he said.
The administration has advised fishermen to not venture into the sea from November 12 and those already out in the open ocean have been asked to return.
At least 57 people were reported dead in Odisha and eight in storm-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh after cyclone Titli swept through the eastern states in October.