Cyclonic storm Nada, which is expected to cross the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, weakened into a deep depression on Thursday even as rains lashed several parts of the state.
“From a cyclonic storm, it has weakened into deep depression and in the next 24 hours, it is likely to cross the coast,” Area Cyclone Warning Centre director, S Balachandran, told reporters in Chennai.
The deep depression is likely to cross coast between Cuddalore and Vedaranyam early morning on Friday, he said.
The weakening of the cyclone may bring partial relief for the state that has put rescue teams -- including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response teams -- on high alert and initiated precautionary measures to tackle any eventuality.
The MeT office had said before that the cyclone would cross the state coast near Cuddalore and heavy rains could lash Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry.
The deep depression in the south West Bay now lies about 210km south east of Puducherry, Balachandran said, adding that it would move in the West Northwestwardly direction and cross the coast.
He said moderate rains were being witnessed in several parts of the state and this was likely to continue.
Some coastal areas are likely to receive heavy rains, the official said.
During and before the land fall of the depression, winds gusting upto 55kmph can be expected in coastal regions, he said.
Earlier in the day, Agricultural Production commissioner and secretary, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, said in Cuddalore that all the 32 revenue districts, including 13 coastal districts were being monitored continuously.
“The district administrations are fully prepared,” he said.
State revenue minister RB Udaya Kumar said, “Be it heavy rains (which is expected) and gusty winds, all preparations are on (to tackle the situation).”
He said during heavy winds, power lines will be need more attention and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation is fully prepared to tackle the situation.
Holidays had been declared in schools in various coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducehrry on Thursday and Friday after the cyclone threat.
The rains under influence of the depression have, however, provided relief to the farmers hit by crop failure due to lack of water for irrigation.
The current spell of rains marked revival of the north east monsoon that accounts for the major share of rains for the state, after it remained nearly inactive since its onset in October.