10.57 pm: Vellore and Tiruvannamalai administration officials say 9,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, reports The New Indian Express.

10.54 pm: The India Meteorological Department says severe thunderstorm with heavy rains is likely to take place over Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Kancheepuram, Thiruvannamalai, Kallakurichi, Viluppuram, Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Karaikal area within the next three hours, reports The New Indian Express.

10.46 pm: The India Meteorological Department says cyclone Nivar began landfall at around 10.30 pm in Tamil Nadu, reports the Hindustan Times.

10.16 pm: Puducherry declares a public holiday on Thursday because of cyclone Nivar, reports NDTV. Wednesday was also a public holiday.

10.09 pm: Indian Air Force sets up a disaster management unit with 10 helicopters on standby in Puducherry to help rescue teams in relief work in the Union territory and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, according to The Times of India.

10.07 pm: An Indian Army team of Integrated Defence Staff, Chennai, arrives in Puducherry to help the territorial officials in rescue and relief work, reports The Times of India. The team, which includes 100 members, comprises representatives from the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force and others.

10.03 pm: The India Meteorological Department says cyclone Nivar now lies about 80 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, a district in Tamil Nadu, about 85 km east-southeast of Puducherry, reports ANI.

8.18 pm: NDRF chief SN Pradhan says all preparations have been done to “tide over the worst challenge that is put up by the cyclone”.

8.15 pm: The National Disaster Response Force has deployed 30 teams on the ground in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh as the cyclone moves ahead from the Bay of Bengal towards the coastal areas, reports PTI. Meanwhile, 20 teams have been kept on standby at Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh, Cuttack in Odisha and Thrissur in Kerala.

8.12 pm: Chembarambakkam reservoir, one of the largest in Chennai, was opened after five years today, reports PTI. About 1,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water was released from the dam, a major source for the city’s water requirements, into the river that flows through the metropolis before draining into the Bay of Bengal.

7.15 pm: Visuals from Chennai’s Marina Beach with strong winds as the cyclone is expected to make landfall at midnight.

7.03 pm: National Disaster Force Response chief SN Pradhan says Cyclone Nivar may make landfall after 2 am on Thursday, reports ANI.

6.58 pm: The National Testing Agency says that UGC-NET 2020 examination, scheduled on November 26 for Mathematical Sciences and Chemical Sciences, stands postponed until further notice in exam centres located in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, reports ANI.

6.46 pm: Chennai and its suburbs, which received heavy overnight rains, continue to witness intermittent showers with strong winds, reports PTI.

6.42 pm: Authorities in Tamil Nadu have evacuated over one lakh people and moved them to shelters, besides disconnecting power supply in vulnerable areas as a precautionary measure due to the cyclone, reports PTI.

6.18 pm: Cyclone Nivar intensifies into “very severe cyclonic storm”, reports The Indian Express.

6.06 pm: The Chennai Metro Rail Limited announces that the last trains for today will depart for the terminals at 7 pm as they will try to end operations by 8 pm ahead of the landfall.

6 pm: Aircraft operations at Chennai airport will be suspended from 7 pm today to 7 am on Thursday, due to severe cyclonic storm, reports ANI.

4.57 pm: Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi appeals to the people to stay indoors and abide by the instructions of the government. “The entire government machinery is at your service and is taking care,” she says in a video message. “Just go by the rules and regulations that are being declared. Move to high places wherever you need to. There are relief centres, please move there.”

4.48 pm: Heavy rains lash Mamallapuram town in Tamil Nadu ahead of the expected landfall of cyclone Nivar at midnight and early hours of Thursday.

4.40 pm: Southern Railway cancels seven trains for Thursday in view of cyclone Nivar, reports ANI. It adds that seven other trains have been diverted.

4.13 pm: National Disaster Response Force Director General SN Pradhan says that over 30,000 people have been evacuated from Tamil Nadu and 7,000 from Puducherry, reports ANI. Pradhan says the central, state and local governments are working in tandem to minimise damage. He says that the cyclone can be categorised as “very severe”, adding that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed so far.

4.10 pm: Strong winds blow in Mamallapuram ahead of the expected landfall of cyclone Nivar between the Tamil Nadu town and Karaikal in Puducherry.

2.35 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami visits Chembarambakkam reservoir, whose shutters were released at noon today, to review the situation.

2.32 pm: Tamil Nadu BJP chief L Murugan says the party has cancelled programmes under the “Vetrivel Yatra” in Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and two other places in the state due to Cyclone Nivar, reports ANI. The tour, which started on November 6, will now culminate on December 5 at Thiruchendur, says Murugan.

2.07 pm: The South Western Railways cancels two trains ahead of the cyclone’s landfall.

2.02 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announces a public holiday on Thursday in Chennai, Vellore, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram, Thanjavur, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvannamalai, Ariyalur, and Perambalur districts, The Indian Express reports.

1.53 pm: The authorities in Chennai begin releasing water from the Chembarambakkam reservoir into the Adyar river as its reaches full storage capacity, PTI reports. They dispel fears that flooding like in 2015 could happen again.

1.49 pm: Narayanasamy says that the people have been advised to stay indoors, ANI reports. “People living in low-lying areas should go to safer places. 80 centers have been identified where food and medicines are being provided. We shall restore electricity within 12 hours.” The chief minister adds that the people will also be tested for the coronavirus.

1.46 pm: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy reviews the arrangements at Kanakachettikulam area in Kalapet town.

12.37 pm: IMD Director General of Meteorology Mrutyunjay Mohapatra says the maximum impact of the cyclone will be felt in Puducherry, ANI reports. “Cyclone Nivar is gradually intensifying,” he says. “It could cause structural damage, uprooting of trees, damage to thatched/tin houses and damage to banana and paddy crops.”

Mohapatra adds: “There will be strong winds and heavy rain. The most impact will be in Puducherry and Karaikal.”

12.35 pm: The authorities open the shutters of Chembarambakam reservoir in Chennai after nearly five years, according to The Hindu.

12.31 pm: The Greater Chennai Corporation orders the removal of all hoardings in the city to avoid accidents during the cyclone, The Hindu reports.

11.15 am: A social media user shares a video of a temporary shed collapsing due to severe winds in a dargah in Chennai’s Mount Road.

11 am: Visuals of the sea in Mammallapuram in Chennai, reports ANI.

10.45 am: Tamil Nadu is also monitoring water levels of four reservoirs – Cholavaram, Red Hills, Chembarambakkam, and Poondi.

In 2015, floods had claimed 289 lives, submerged 23.25 lakh homes, disrupted power and telecommunication services, caused extensive damage to public and private property and brought the city to a standstill for several days.

10.30 am: Schools in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district will remain closed till Friday, according to The Times of India.

10.18 am: Waterlogging in parts of Chennai, reports ANI.

10.15 am: Andhra Pradesh is also on high alert ahead of the cyclone’s landfall. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting on Tuesday with district authorities and the police.

9.45 am: Twenty-four flights have been cancelled in Chennai by IndiGo, The Times of India reports.

9.40 am: “We didn’t want the relief camps to end up becoming super spreaders,” state Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Tamil Nadu Disaster Management and Mitigation Phanindra Reddy tells the Hindustan Times.

9.30 am: With the outbreak of Covid-19, rescue will become a tedious effort. Relief centers have been doubled to 8,813, which can accommodate 2.5 lakh people in light of physical distancing guidelines, reports Hindustan Times.

9.20 am: Around 16 districts of the state, including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, Tiruvallur and Thanjavur may receive heavy to very heavy rains, reports The Hindu.

9.15 am: NDRF Director General SN Pradhan says Delhi has deployed 22 relief and rescue teams in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, according to The Indian Express.

9.10 am: IMD Bengaluru Director (Weather Forecast) CS Patil tells The Indian Express that rain in the south-interior part of Karnataka is likely to continue till Saturday. “South-interior Karnataka is likely to receive light to moderate scattered rainfall on Wednesday, heavy widespread rainfall on Thursday and Friday, and isolated rainfall on Saturday,” he says.

9.07 am: “We are ensuring clear channels for smooth flow of water and safe storage in large lakes,” state Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar tells NDTV.

9.05 am: The administration has opened up a round-the-clock control room coordinating with several teams and has set up 96 relief camps. Officials have strongly advised people to stay indoors.

9 am: Nearly 1,200 NDRF personnel are stationed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Andhra Pradesh, and 800 more are on standby, reports The Indian Express.

8.55 am: The Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai has said that the cyclonic storm may bring extremely heavy rainfall and winds between 120 kmph and 130 kmph.

8.50 am: The IMD sounded a yellow alert for Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kolar, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Mandya and Ramanagara districts of Karnataka. A yellow alert requires officials to constantly watch latest weather forecasts.

8.45 am: The weather department says several districts of Karnataka are also likely to receive heavy rain due to the impact of the cyclone, The Indian Express reports.

8.40 am: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told NDTV on Tuesday that large gatherings were banned and public movement was forbidden between 9 pm and 6 am on Thursday. He added that non-essential shops and services would also be shut.

8.35 am: The weather department has issued a red alert in seven districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, according to The New Indian Express.

8.30 am: Chennai on Tuesday received heavy rainfall with waterlogging in certain parts of the city, reports The Hindu.

Here are updates from Tuesday:

  1. Cyclone Nivar, which is expected to turn into a “very severe cyclonic storm”, may make landfall on Wednesday, between Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal in Puducherry.
  2. The Tamil Nadu government declared a public holiday on Wednesday, and Puducherry issued prohibitory orders till Thursday. A yellow alert has been sounded for eight districts in Karnataka.
  3. Tamil Nadu has allowed essential services to function. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami urged people to stay indoors, adding that more than 4,000 “vulnerable” locations were identified and local authorities had been told to ensure people’s safety.
  4. By Tuesday evening, heavy rains, accompanied by strong winds and high tides, battered most parts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, as the storm approached the coast of the state.
  5. The India Meteorological Department has forecast that the cyclone will likely cross the Tamil Nadu coast late on Wednesday evening. The IMD said that that Cyclone Nivar will turn into a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed between 120-130 km per hour gusting to 145 kmph.  
  6. In view of the cyclone and the heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the Southern Railways has cancelled 12 trains for Wednesday.