The Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala resumed operations at 4 pm on Friday as Cyclone Burevi weakened. The airport was earlier closed from 10 am to 6 pm in view of the cyclone, which has become a deep depression, ANI reported. Two airports of Tamil Nadu, in Madurai and Thoothukudi, are still shut, according to NDTV.
The India Meteorological Department said that the cyclone is over the Gulf of Mannar near south Tamil Nadu coast. “It has remained stationary for [the] past 12 hours,” IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said. “It’ll further weaken into depression while moving westward across south Tamil Nadu coast during the next 12 hours,” he added.
He said that the cyclone has resulted in extremely heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Isolated extremely heavy rainfall is likely to continue in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Saturday.
“As it [Cyclone Buveri] is expected to weaken gradually, wind speed will decrease to 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph tonight over extreme south Tamil Nadu and South Kerala coast,” Mohapatra said.
In its 8 am update, the IMD had said: “The Deep Depression over Gulf of Mannar close to Ramanathapuram District coast remained practically stationary during past three hours.”
The weather office had added that the deep depression was likely to cross Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu in the next six hours. “The Deep Depression likely to move slowly west-southwestwards and cross Ramanathapuram and adjoining Thoothukudi districts during next 06 hours with wind speed of 50-60 gusting to 70 kmph,” IMD said. “It is very likely to weaken further into a Depression (wind speed 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph) during next 12 hours.”
Meanwhile, strong winds lashed Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram town. Huge waves were seen crashing against the coast.
The weather office said that the deep depression is likely to cause heavy rainfall in parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep Islands and Andhra Pradesh.
The Kerala government declared a public holiday in Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts on Friday, Hindustan Times reported. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also held meetings with the National Disaster Response Force, the coast guard and the armed forces to discuss rescue efforts.
Tamil Nadu also announced a holiday in Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar and Thoothukudi districts, The Hindu reported. More than 5,700 people were evacuated from the Ramanathapuram coast. The government has readied nearly 500 relief centres in these areas.
For Tamil Nadu, this will be the second cyclonic storm in 10 days. The coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry faced the brunt of the very severe cyclonic storm Nivar in the early hours of November 26. At least three people were killed in Tamil Nadu.
The South Indian coast is prone to such storms between October and December, when the North-East monsoon is active over the region.