Cyclone Nilam to cross Chennai Wednesday evening

Cyclone Nilam to cross Chennai Wednesday evening

Nilam, a cyclonic storm centred over the Bay of Bengal, is expected to cross the coast of northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh by Wednesday, the Met Office said Tuesday.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm and is located about 500 km south-southeast of Chennai. It will cross Chennai around Wednesday evening.

“Parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh will see squally winds with speed reaching 45-55 kmph and gusting of up to 90 kmph off northern Tamil Nadu, Puducherry (Pondicherry) and adjoining coasts of Andhra Pradesh in the next 12 hours,” said M.

Mohapatra, director of IMD's cyclone warning division. Nilam would move north-west and cross Nagapattinam, 320 km from here, and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, around 180 km from here, Wednesday afternoon or evening, the Met Office said.

“Rainfall has already started and it will increase from scattered to heavy and extremely heavy in both the states. The rain will increase for the next 36 hours, after which it will come down,” said Mohapatra.

He said as the cyclone makes landfall (storm moving over land after being over water) on Wednesday, there will be storm surge leading to tides up to 1 metre high.

The condition of the sea will be rough along northern Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and southern Andhra Pradesh and fishermen have been asked not to venture into the waters.

“We have issued warning appealing to fishermen to avoid venturing into the sea for the next 36 hours,” Mohapatra said.

The Tamil Nadu government has shutdown schools and colleges in view of the heavy rain and storm.

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