In a relief, cyclonic storm Nada today weakened into a deep depression and is likely to cross the Tamil Nadu coast tomorrow, even as rains lashed several parts of the scarcity-hit state.
"From a cyclonic storm, it has weakened into deep depression and in the next 24 hours is likely to cross the coast," Area Cyclone Warning Centre Director, S Balachandran, told reporters in Chennai.
The deep depression is likely to cross coast between Cuddalore and Vedaranyam early morning tomorrow, he said.
The weakening of the cyclone brings partial relief to the authorities who have put the state machinery on high alert, deploying National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response teams, and taking elaborate precautionary measures to tackle any eventuality.
Earlier, the MeT office had said the cyclone would cross the state coast near Cuddalore and under its impact, heavy rains could lash Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry.
The deep depression in the south West Bay now lies about 210 km south east of Puducherry, Balachandran said, adding it would move in the West North Westwardly direction and cross the coast.
He said moderate rains were being witnessed in several parts of the state and this was likely to continue.
Some coastal areas are likely to receive heavy rains, the official said.
During and before the land fall of the depression, winds gusting upto 55 kmph are likely in coastal regions, he said.
Earlier in the day, Agricultural Production commissioner and Secretary, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, said in Cuddalore that all the 32 revenue districts, including 13 coastal districts were being monitored continuously.
"The district administrations are fully prepared (to handle any eventuality)," he said.
State Revenue Minister R B Udaya Kumar said, "Be it heavy rains (which is expected) and gusty winds, all preparations are on (to tackle the situation)."
He said during heavy winds power lines will be needing more attention and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation is fully prepared to tackle the situation.
Holidays had been declared in schools in various coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducehrry for today and tomorrow in view of the cyclone threat.
The rains under influence of the depression have, however, brought cheers to the farmers hit by crop failure due to lack of water for irrigation.
The current spell of rains marked revival of the north east monsoon which accounts for the major share of rains for the state, after it virtually remained inactive since its onset in October.
A report from Puducherry said normal life wasthrown out of gear in the Union Territory following intermittent rain from early morning.
Revenue Minister M O H F Shah Jahan reviewed the situation and directed the officials of various departments to strengthen their preparedness.
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force from Arokonam had been stationed here to meet any exigency, official sources said.
Control rooms had been opened with toll free phone numbers 1070 and 1077.