Severe cyclonic storm 'Nivar' will intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm over the next 12 hours and cross the coast between Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Wednesday midnight or early Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said.
Meanwhile, water will be released from Chembarambakkam lake, one of the key drinking water sources to the city, since it was nearing capacity, by noon, the government said.
In its latest bulletin on Wednesday, the IMD said NIVAR over southwest Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 07 kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 0530 hrs of today at about 290 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 300 km east southeast of Puducherry and 350 km south southeast of Chennai.
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"It is very likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. It is very likely to move northwestwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during mid-night of November 25 and early hours of November 26 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph," it said.
Chennai and its suburbs received heavy overnight rains, with low-lying areas getting inundated and water entering houses in such localities. Civic body officials were involved in clearing the roads of stagnant water, even as many city residents recalled the damage caused during the 2015 deluge.
Read: Excess water from Chembarambakkam to be released
A holiday has been declared in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday in view of the cyclone's expected landfall while transport services have been suspended.
Meanwhile, PWD officials announced that 1000 cusecs of water will be released from the Chembarambakkam lake, as the level stood at 22 ft of the total 24ft.
Water will be released from 12 noon onwards and the discharge will be stepped up depending upon the inflow, they said.