The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on Wednesday, made public the information that Cyclone Nivar which is currently suspended over southwest Bay of Bengal is likely to gather even more intensity and develop into a “very severe” cyclonic storm by 5.30 pm.

During Wednesday midnight and early hours on Thursday, the cyclone is very likely to move west north-westwards crossing the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.

The information shared by the MHA was based on the 11.30 am report of the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorology Department (IMD).

“It is very likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next six hours,” the IMD release said around 11.30 a.m.

Cyclone Nivar has brought with it heavy rain and strong winds in coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Severe cyclonic storm Nivar is expected to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts around midnight or early hours of Thursday as a very severe cyclonic storm, India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.

Since Tuesday night, Tamil Nadu capital Chennai and its suburbs have been experiencing intermittent rains resulting in water-logged roads, apartments and houses.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has declared a public holiday on Wednesday in view of the impending natural calamity, said Chief Minister E Palaniswami while the Southern Railway has cancelled suburban train services and also some long-distance trains.

The cyclone will affect Nellore and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday and move over Rayalaseema and southeast Telangana on Thursday said the weather department.

In another notification, it said that damage is expected over Nagapattinam, Myladuthurai, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Chengalpattu districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal and Puducherry with the potential threat from flying objects.

The cyclone will lead to disruption of railways, overhead powerlines and signalling systems. There are expectations of widespread damage to standing crops, plantations and orchards.

“Small boats, country crafts may get detached from moorings. Visibility may be severely affected,” warns IMD, suggesting “total suspension of fishing operations and mobilise evacuation from coastal areas.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, assured the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments of all possible support and help.

(With Agency inputs)