Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are on high alert with Cyclone Nivar expected to make landfall on November 25 afternoon between Karaikal and Mamallapuram. While rains are expected in southern Andhra Pradesh, a deep depression is brewing over the Bay of Bengal and is most likely to turn into a severe cyclonic storm by Tuesday and cross the coast on Wednesday, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal is currently 440 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 470 km southeast of Chennai, according to the latest IMD bulletin. The cyclone is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours and into a severe cyclonic storm in the subsequent 12 hours with a speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph.
Extremely heavy rains and strong winds are expected in the next three days.
The state governments of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have already taken some steps to reduce the impact of the cyclone on the respective states. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced suspension of bus services in the districts of Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Thanjavur, Chengalpet, and Tiruvallur. The order comes into effect from 1 pm on November 24.
NDRF teams have also been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Poducherry and Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, the Southern Railways has cancelled several trains from November 24-26.
#CycloneNivar - Cancellation/Partial Cancellation of Train Services #Bulletin1SR Full refund shall be granted for trains fully cancelled @DRMTPJ @DrmChennai @drmmadurai @SalemDRM @TVC138 @propgt14 pic.twitter.com/BktE1uyVK2— Southern Railway (@GMSRailway) November 23, 2020
We take a look at Cyclone Nivar, how it was named, and some measures to stay safe during the cyclone.
Cyclone Nivar will be the fourth cyclone to take shape in the North Indian Ocean region this year. The first three cyclones were Cyclone Gati (made landfall in Somalia on November 22), Cyclone Amphan, (eastern India witnessed it in May), and Cyclone Nisarga (in Maharashtra). Nivar will be the second cyclone to hit Tamil Nadu in two years after Cyclone Gaja in 2018.
According to the meteorological department, a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal will turn into a severe cyclonic storm and hit the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on November 25. The cyclone will cause extremely heavy rains, strong winds with speeds up to 120 kmph. Many districts in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry are likely to see flooding. A red alert has been issued in a few districts and fishermen have been asked not to go out into the sea till November 26.
Name of the cyclone
The storm has been named Cyclone Nivar, based on the guidelines of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). According to WMO guidelines, countries in every region are supposed to give names for cyclones.
North Indian Ocean Region covers tropical cyclones formed over Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. The 13 members, which come under the region, are Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. In 2018, five more countries were added. These are Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen.
A total of 169 cyclones were named by these countries for this year, with 13 names from each country. Every member’s name is listed in alphabetical order and the cyclone names are used sequentially column-wise.
Cyclones are named to make their identification easier. It is also believed that names like these make it easier for the media to report and generates interest from the people, resulting in easier dissemination of information and increased preparedness.
The name Nisarga was given by Bangladesh, Gati was taken from India’s suggested names. Nivara has been selected from the list of names given by Iran.
Regions likely to get affected the most
The districts of Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Thanjavur, Chengalpet, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Kallakurichi, Tiruvannamalai, and Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu are on alert. In the neighbouring UT, Poducherry and Karaikal are on alert. The regions of coastal Andhra Pradesh, south interior Karnataka, Rayalseema, South Chattisgarh, South Odisha are also likely to get affected.
12 NDRF teams have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Poducherry, and Andhra Pradesh with 18 on standby. An NDRF team consists of 35-45 personnel.
12 teams pre-deployed, 18 on standby across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, in view of #CycloneNivar: SN Pradhan, DG, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) (file pic) pic.twitter.com/NYdhD5PqU1— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2020