Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Tuesday said that relief camps have been set up and other necessary measures taken in view of Cyclone Nivar which is expected to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Mamallapuram and Karaikal on Wednesday late evening.
He also said the government has declared a holiday on Wednesday and bus services in seven districts have been stopped but people in essential services will work.
The Met Department has predicted that Nivar will have a landfall on late Wednesday evening as very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.
The cyclone is expected to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Mamallapuram and Karaikal around Puducherry.
Palaniswami said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called him on Tuesday morning and assured of Central government’s help in relief measures taken by the state government.
Addressing reporters, he said the government has identified 4,133 locations that would affected by Nivar and the District Collectors concerned have been instructed to take special care.
Cyclone relief camps have been set up 3,344 locations.
“Currently 254 persons have been housed in nine relief camps,” Palaniswami said.
He said people living in low-lying areas in Cuddalore, Virudhachalam, Chidambaram and Ariyalur districts have been housed in the relief camps.
According to him, food, bed, bedsheets will be provided for people housed in the relief camps and for children, milk will be provided.
Palaniswami said a total of 43,409 persons including 14,232 women have been deployed to provide assistance and relief for people affected by cyclone Nivar.
There are 8,871 persons to take cattle to safety in case there are floods, he added.
Queried about release of water from the Chembaramkkam lake, Palaniswami said it will be done based on the rainfall and the necessary orders have already been issued.
Meanwhile, the Met Department has predicted that a tidal wave of about 1-1.5 m height above the astronomical tide is very likely to inundate the low-lying areas of north coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry near the place of landfall.
Sea condition is likely to be very rough to high over these regions. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these sea areas for the above mentioned period.
Seven ports – Chennai, Ennore, Kattupalli, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Puducherry and Karaikal – have raised a danger signal and ships have been ordered to leave the harbour for high seas while small vessels are accomadated in safer places.
The Indian Coast Guard said it has deployed four ships at sea in disaster relief configuration for assistance to fishermen/merchant ships at sea.
Two helicopters are in standby for post landfall rescue and relief works and 15 disaster relief teams ready for assisting state and district administration, it said.
On its part, the Indian Navy said five flood relief teams and one divers’ team is ready for deployment at Chennai. One flood relief team each is also standby at Naval Detachment Nagapattinam, Rameswaram and Air Station INS Parundu.
INS Jyoti has been deployed from Visakhapatnam, with HADR bricks and diving teams to render assistance as required along the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast.
The Southern Railway has cancelled suburban train services in Chennai from 10 a.m. on Wednesday until further notice.
The Southern Railway has also cancelled 12 pairs of train services, including the Chennai Egmore-Madurai-Chennai Egmore, the Chennai Egmore-Karaikkudi-Chennai Egmore, the Tirunelveli-Chennai Egmore-Tirunelveli, the Tuticorin-Chennai Egmore-Tuticorin, and the Chennai Egmore-Kanniyakumari-Chennai Egmore Special Trains.