4 die, major damage averted as cyclone Nivar make landfall
At least four people were killed as Cyclone Nivar made landfall late on Wednesday, officials said on Thursday.
While three people died in Tamil Nadu, one person was killed and another washed away in Andhra Pradesh, officials from the two states said.
The very severe cyclonic storm Nivar crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry between 11.30pm on Wednesday and 2.30 am on Thursday with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph, according to the India Meteorological Department. By dawn, the wind-speed reduced to 80-95 kmph and its intensity weakened as a cyclonic storm before noon moving northwest wards, the IMD said. Major devastation was averted with the help of correct weather forecasting and the weakening of the cyclone, officials in Tamil Nadu said after assessing the damage caused.
Over 200,000 people were evacuated before the cyclone made a landfall, officials said. “All of them were evacuated before the storm and flooding happened. Our precautions have ensured that there has been no major damage or casualty,” said minister for revenue and disaster management RB Udayakumar. “The cyclone weakened while crossing the coast which gave us a huge protection. People also weren’t out during the landfall. Nobody was stranded or washed away,” the minister said. Normalcy returned in Chennai even as adjoining suburbs, including Mudichur, Tambaram, and coastal districts, including Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Thiruvallur and Villupuram, remained marooned with neck-deep water. Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami inspected damaged agricultural lands in Cuddalore, which is one of the worst affected districts, officials said.
Around 1,100 trees and more than 100 electricity poles were uprooted during the cyclone, officials said, adding that banana trees in 14 acres of land were also damaged. Officials said that farmers who lost crops will be compensated.
Chennai airport resumed operations on Thursday morning after they were closed on Wednesday night. Metro rail services also resumed in the city and buses that were suspended in seven districts on November 24 also began plying.
In Andhra Pradesh, one person died due to electrocution and a farmer was washed away in a rivulet, while hundreds of others were rendered homeless as heavy rains battered south-coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts, officials said.
Following a review meeting with Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, officials of the revenue and disaster management departments said that Erpedu, Srikalahasti, Satyavedu areas of Chittoor district and Nellore district witnessed heavy rainfall, while parts of Kadapa and Anantapur districts received moderate to heavy rainfall.
The chief minister has ordered the respective departments to assess the damage in the state and prepare a report on enumeration of crop damage, officials said.