From suspending transports to barring electricity: How TN is prepared to tackle Cyclone Nivar?

With being reminiscent of the destructions faced during the 2015 floods and Cyclone 'Vardah', Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu have been preparing with the measures to tackle Cyclone Nivar, which will be making landfall on Wednesday -November 25 during which it will bring heavy to extremely heavy rainfall across the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and inner parts of the state. 

To avoid large-scale destruction and to rescue people living in vulnerable areas, the Tamil Nadu government is preparing to tackle the Cyclone and address the rescue efforts. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Nivar is expected to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal in Puducherry and Mahabalipuram in Chennai in the afternoon hours on Wednesday.  

Earlier, the IMD and the regional meteorological department had alerted the state with a warning of heavy to extremely heavy rains in the state. the IMD had said that the depression over southwest and southeast Bay of Bengal would get intensified into a cyclonic storm and it has been predicted that during the landfall, the wind speed would be in the range of 100-110 km an hour. According to reports, the state government has been making precautionary arrangements to tackle what could become a wrecking cyclone. 

On Monday, the Tamil Nadu state government has alerted all the district administrations to install precautionary measures to tackle the cyclone and the government has deployed concerned ministries and departments to work to address the destructions and it also has asked the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to carry out relief operations. The state government has also warned the fishermen not to venture into the sea until Wednesday and called the fishermen who are already on the sea to return to the coast. 

Addressing the reports, Tamil Nadu Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management RB Udhayakumar said that six NDRF teams have been moved from Arakkonam to Cuddalore and two other teams have been kept for emergency services. The Chief Minister has also advised the district administrations to take precautionary measures to tackle the cyclone. The reports say that additional teams would be moved to the coastal districts. 

The government has also decided to disconnect the electricity in the areas where Cyclone Nivar would be making landfall. Electricity Minister Thangamani said that the electricity department is prepared to handle the relief works and power lines will be disconnected in the coastal areas while the cyclone makes landfall with the view of avoiding any unexpected incidents. The electricity department has been concentrating largely on the Cuddalore district as the district will be getting extremely heavy rainfall. 

The Electricity Minister added that the public can call the helpline 1992 for grievances concerning electricity. While addressing the reporters, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar appealed to the people that there is no need to fear about the cyclone and the government has deployed the teams and issued directives to take measures to tackle the cyclone. By citing the prediction, Jayakumar added that Cyclone Nivar will not affect the state like Cyclone Gaja, which hit the shores in 2018 and pushing the state to face heavy destructions and loss of lives.

On Monday, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had chaired the cabinet meeting in Chennai to review the preparedness to tackle the cyclone. The Chief Minister has also ordered to suspend the public transports in seven districts - Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Nagappattinam, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Villupuram, and Chengalpattu from 1 pm on Tuesday as these districts are expected to receive extremely heavy rainfall during the course of the cyclone. The government said that public transports in these seven districts won't be resumed until further orders and the Chief Minister has appealed to the public to stock up the necessary and essential items including dairies and groceries. 

Several parts of the state including Chennai had received heavy rainfall on Monday and will continue to receive rainfall till the course of the cyclone. The Commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation said that all precautionary measures have been taken by the civic body and the relief teams, engineers, contractors, special machinery, and 600 heavy-duty pump sets have been deployed and the Commissioner has asked people not to panic about the situation and asserted that the things are extremely under control. 

People in need of help can contact the below numbers, 

Government's Emergency helpline number - 1077

Helpline to address electricity Grievances - 1992