Let us talk about the severe storm, the landfall of which commenced on Wednesday night. The name of the severe cyclonic storm is Nivar. 2020 has been a very inauspicious year and even with just one month to go until it ends, this year has brought the challenge of a new storm after the coronavirus crisis. Cyclone Nivar is the fourth cyclone to hit the North Indian Ocean region in 2020. The name ‘Nivar’ has been selected from the list of names given by Iran. In the Parsi language, the name ‘Nivar’ means light. But the storm, approaching in the middle of the night, can also bring darkness.
Cyclone Nivar over southwest Bay of Bengal has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its bulletin on Wednesday. “It is very likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours,” the IMD added.
Many districts of Tamil Nadu received heavy rains even before the storm hit. The worst affected by the rains are Chennai, Mahabalipuram, and Kanchipuram. IMD had said that the cyclone will cross the coast with a wind speed of 120-130kmph gusting up to 145kmph. Officials said it reached a wind speed of more than 120km/h (75mph) but then weakened into a severe cyclonic storm. The landfall process of severe cyclonic storm Nivar has started in Chennai, on the night of November 25.
19 NDRF teams have been deployed in Tamil Nadu. Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have also been alerted due to the storm. Apart from this, floods have been feared in many cities of South India due to heavy rains. People living near the beaches have been evacuated to safer places.
Severe Cyclonic Storm “NIVAR” weakened into a Cyclonic Storm over north coastal Tamilnadu.The Cyclonic Storm ‘NIVAR’ would continue to move northwestwards and weaken further into a Deep Depression during next 06 hours and into a depression by subsequent 06 hours. pic.twitter.com/RxhbZ6Ix1O
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) November 26, 2020
In Tamil Nadu alone, more than one lakh people have been shifted to relief camps. In Chennai, people have been advised not to leave the house and a public holiday has been declared. They said all essential services have now been restored. More than ten thousand people from low-lying areas had been evacuated ahead of its landfall. The heavy wind had already felled trees and strong rains flooded parts of Chennai. Officials said more than 100 huts were damaged, and 380 fallen trees had fallen, which have now been removed.
Initially classified as a “very severe cyclonic storm”, Nivar weakened into a “severe cyclonic storm” after it made landfall, the India Meteorological Department said. Dozens of trains and flights from Chennai have been cancelled and thousands of disaster management personnel have been deployed in the region. In 2015, widespread flooding in Chennai due to heavy rains and overflowing rivers brought the city to a standstill.
The powerful cyclone lashed southern India uprooting trees and packing strong winds and rains as tens of thousands evacuated. Heavy rains triggered by the storm caused flooding in some streets of the city of Chennai, People were seen walking in knee-deep water in some streets in south Chennai, which has many low-lying areas susceptible to flooding. Local administration workers have been working to remove fallen trees and power lines, city corporation officials informed. Authorities in Chennai said they were also closely observing the level of reservoirs and lakes to avoid a repeat of 2015 flooding which killed several hundred people. Lake Chembarambakkam outside Chennai discharged extra water because of the heavy rains.
The Greater Chennai Corporation has ordered and made sure with the precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incidents when a severe cyclonic storm hits the city.
Chembarambakkam Lake gates opened for 1st time since 2015 after heavy rains in Chennai
On Wednesday, as the Nivar cyclone was on its course to make landfall near Puducherry. Seven gates out of the 19 of Chembarambakkam Lake in Chennai have been opened. For the first time in around five years, the gates of the reservoir have been opened. CM Edappadi K Palaniswami visited the area as the gates were being opened.
— ANI (@ANI) November 25, 2020
As the rains intensified, Edappadi K Palaniswami’s convoy set out all the way to the Chembarambakkam lake to take stalk of the situation as water from the lake was to be released into the Adyar river. The same Chembarambakkam lake, on the outskirts of Chennai city, was the major reason behind the flash floods of 2015. When Palaniswami went all the way to Chembarambakkam, Chennaiites were relieved that the chief minister was actively involved to ensure people’s welfare.
The sluice gates of the Chembarambakkam lake–which is one of the sources of drinking water for Chennai–were opened after a gap of five years. The shutters were opened as a precautionary measure to avoid flooding like in 2015 and inundation close to banks of the Adyar river bank. The water release from the lake was gradually increased from 1,000 cusecs at noon on Wednesday to 9,000 cusecs later in the night when the Nivar cyclone brought intense rains. This was to maintain the water level at 21.98 feet as against its total capacity of 24 feet.
Cyclone Nivar began its landfall around 11.30 pm on Wednesday and crossed the Puducherry coast before 2.30 am on Thursday. Nivar caused heavy rain and strong winds had made over 1,000 trees have been uprooted in Tamil Nadu and some low-lying areas marooned due to water-logging following heavy rains after the landfall, reports PTI. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami says around 52,000 people stayed in camps that were set up in Cuddalore district due to the cyclone. 77 electric polls were uprooted that have been cleared, 1,500 hectares of farmland have been damaged in the district. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast faced the brunt of the very severe cyclonic storm Nivar in the early hours of Thursday.
The commitment and support provided by the Greater Chennai Corporation and team in handling the Nivar Cyclone were impeccable. As per the IMD sources, another fresh cyclone is brewing over the sea in the same region of the Nivar. Cyclone isn’t over: Two more weather systems on the horizon. There may be back-to-back weather systems brewing over the Bay of Bengal that could bring more rain to the city & several parts of the state. India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that a low-pressure area may form around Nov.29. Weather trackers said there are chances of it intensifying into a cyclonic storm before hitting the TN Coast. Then by December 11, there may be another system forming and moving towards the state.