Coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were issued cyclone warning on Tuesday. The deep depression which had formed in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclone, which was named as Nilam, is expected to cross Nagapattinam and Nellore, southern coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday evening.
It may be noted, coastal district of Tamil Nadu had a severe impact when the strongest tropical cyclone Thane hit the state in December 2011. The cyclone had left at least 46 dead in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and the state Government alloted Rs 1,000 crore for construction of houses, farm lands and for small and medium enterprises and others.
According to Met department the cyclonic Nilam is on around 500 km on south-southeast of Chennai and 100 km east-northeast of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka and expected to intensify further into a cyclonic storm and move north westwards and nd cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nagapattinam and Nellore on Wednesday afternoon/evening, said the Department officials.
Some of the factories, ports and education institutions have decided to shut down as part of security measures in the south coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. Fishermen in Nagapattinam, Chennai and Puducherry have been asked to not venture into the sea.
S Gopal, managing director of Chemplast Sanmar Ltd, which has a PVC facility at Cuddalore, said that the company has decided to shut down the factory as part of safety measure. Though this cyclone is milder than Thane, we decided to close the factory taking workers safety into account. He noted the factory did not report much damage when Thane hit the coast at 160 kms per hour.
Met Department said speed squally winds of Nilam would be 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would prevail.
Officials from the Ports of Chennai and Tuticorin have said that as part of safety measured they moved all the vessels from the Port to the anchorage area. At Chennai port 12 vessels were moved from the Port to the anchorage area on Tuesday evening.
Authorities from the Nagapattinam district, one of the worst hit areas during Thane cyclone, said that the each department including the police, fire and rescue services have been allotted specific work and they are geared up fully, 21 cyclone shelters are set ready.
In Chennai 280 corporation schools and four community kitchens are ready to be used as temporary relief centres.
While schools were closed on Tuesday and will remain closed on Wednesday, offices and factories continued to work and factories of Ashok Leyland, Daimler, Hyundai and IT companies were working normally on Tuesday.