The coastal stretch of Tamil Nadu is bracing up for the impact from the landfall of Cyclone Mandous and the state government has deployed the rescue teams and several districts have declared holidays for schools and colleges. The cyclone will be making the landfall near the Chennai coast during the midnight hours of December 9.
In the wake of the cyclone, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that three Tamil Nadu districts of Chengalpattu, Villupuram, and Kancheepuram have been issued with Red Alert. In its release, the India's premier weather watchdog said on Friday morning that Severe Cyclonic Storm Mandous was over the southwest Bay of Bengal about 240 km east-southeast of Karaikal.
The cyclone will then move west-northwest and cross north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Puducherry & Sriharikota with a windspeed of 65-75 kmph around midnight of December 9 to early hours of December 10. The IMD further said due to cyclone Mandous, light to moderate rainfall at most places, heavy to very heavy rainfall at few places, and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over north coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and heavy to very heavy rainfall over interior parts of northern Tamil Nadu will be recorded on Friday.
Earlier, Mandous intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and the current status of the cyclone is that it has lost its intensity and weakened into a cyclonic storm. As the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu will have a first-in-line impact, several teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been stationed to carryout the relief and evacuation measures. Owing to the cyclone, the Tamil Nadu government has said 12 teams comprising nearly 400 personnel of NDRF have been deployed in ten districts including Chennai, Nagapattinam, and Cuddalore.
The schools and colleges in 26 districts were declared holiday on Friday. It has been predicted that the cyclone will cross the coast at Mamallapuram during the midnight of December 9. S Balachandran, Deputy Director of IMD's Regional office in Chennai said, "The cyclone interacts with the sea surface temperature, surrounding and upper atmosphere, and the weather is meant to change continuously." The IMD has issued orange alert to eight districts on December 9 and 10.
During the midnight hours of Thursday, several parts of northern Tamil Nadu received light to moderate rainfall. Tamil Nadu's Chief Secretary Irai Anbu chaired a key meeting at the Secretariat during which he directed the officials to ensure that all stipulated measures, from prior announcement on the release of surplus water from the reservoirs to evacuating people from the vulnerable areas, are followed.
While the state government advised the people to refrain from a long-travel, the Greater Chennai Corporation asked people not to visit beaches on Friday and not to park the cars in open areas or under the trees. Necessary directive has been issued to the fishermen community not to venture into the sea. The Chennai Corporation issued precautionary measures and ordered to close all parks and playgrounds till further notice.