(Hindustan Times) Cyclone 'Nilam' on Wednesday intensified into a severe storm with extremely heavy rainfall expected over North coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry even as the weather department warned of extensive damage to huts, standing crops and power lines.
The met department said on Wednesday evening that Cyclone Nilam was crossing Tamil Nadu coast near Mahabalipuram.The cyclone is expected to cross between Puducherry and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh close to Chennai this evening.
"The system would intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm and move north-westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Puducherry and Nellore close to Chennai by this evening, it said in its latest bulletin.Gusty winds with a maximum surface wind speed of 45 kmph to 110 kmph is expected, it said.
Extremely heavy rainfall of over 25 cm or more is expected over north Coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the next 24 hours.Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north interior Tamil Nadu in the next 48 hours with gale speeds of 90-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts.The sea condition would be "high to very high" along and off North Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coast, the Met office said.Storm surge of about 1-1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Nellore districts, it said.The Met office also advised total suspension of fishing operations and for coastal dwellers to move to safer places. Danger signals ranging from seven to five have been hoisted at Chennai, Ennore, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, and Puducherry ports. Local cautionary signal number three has been hoisted at Pamban and Thoothukudi ports, it said.
Heavy rain lashed Andhra Pradesh's coastal districts under the impact of Cyclone Nilam, whose intensity is expected to increase by Wednesday evening.Many parts of Nellore and Prakasam districts in south coastal Andhra and Chittoor district in Rayalaseema region have been receiving heavy rain accompanied by strong winds since Tuesday night, officials said.An alert has been sounded in the south coastal districts of Nellore, Guntur, Prakasam and Krishna. The sea conditions have turned rough with high waves lashing the coast in Nellore. The sea water gushed up to 100 metres from shoreline in some villages.The education department has declared a holiday for educational institutions in Chittoor and Nellore districts. Roads and low-lying areas were inundated - this included the temple town of Tirupati in Chittoor district.Warning signals were put out at Machilipatnam, Krishnapatnam, Nizampatnam and Vadarevu ports.According to Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning centre, Nilam would cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast between Puducherry and Nellore Wednesday evening.The Met Office has warned fishermen against venturing out into the sea. It also advised people in coastal areas to remain indoors and take all precautions at the time of the storm's landfall.An Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin said Nilam was centred about 260 km south-southeast of Chennai at 8.30 a.m. Wednesday.Gale wind speeds reaching 90 to 100 kmph and even higher would hit north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next 24 hours, according to the warning.Storm surges of about 1 to 1.5 metres over the astronomical tide are likely to inundate low-lying areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur of Tamil Nadu as well as Nellore.Extensive damage to thatched roofs and huts and minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees is feared.