According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorology Department (IMD), Delhi, Severe Cyclonic Storm Nivar is very likely to intensify further into a “very severe cyclonic storm” during next 6 hours.

It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during midnight of 25 and early hours of 26 November as a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a wind speed of 120-130 km/ph gusting to 145 km/ph.

Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall and thunderstorm are very likely over coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karaikal, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema.

Isolated extremely heavy rainfall activity also very likely over coastal & north interior Tamil Nadu & Puducherry on 25 November and over Rayalaseema & southeast Telangana on 26 November.

Sea condition is very high over Southwest Bay of Bengal and very rough to high along and off Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and south Andhra Pradesh coasts.

Damage is expected over Nagapattinam, Myladuthurai, Cuddalore, Villupuram & Chengalpattu districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal & Puducherry.

The IMD has advised total suspension of fishing operations and mobilise evacuation from coastal areas and to move coastal hutment dwellers to safer places.

Director-General IMD, Dr M. Mohapatra along with Director General NDRF, SN Pradhan held a joint press conference in New Delhi on November 24.

SN Pradhan told media that a close watch is being kept over the system and that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) HQ and Commandants of battalions located at Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are in coordination with the respective state authorities.

He said in view of the IMD forecast and requirements projected by the state authorities, 22 teams (12 teams in Tamil Nadu, 3 teams in Puducherry and 7 teams in Andhra Pradesh) have been pre-positioned at likely affected areas.

Teams have been kept reserve at Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Thrissur (Kerala) and Mundli (Odisha) to meet additional requirements, he added.

All teams have reliable wireless and satellite communications, tree cutters/ pole cutters for post-landfall restoration if the need arises. In view of the current COVID-19 scenario, NDRF teams are equipped with appropriate PPEs, said Pradhan.

He said that NDRF is working in close coordination with district and local administrations. Awareness programmes are being conducted for all citizens in the form of information about cyclones, do’s and don’ts and information about COVID-19 in affected areas and prevention measures.

All deployed teams are assisting the local administration in the evacuation of people from areas that are likely to be affected by the cyclone. NDRF is spreading a sense of security amongst the communities that teams are available at their service and will remain present in the area until the situation returns to normal so that the public does not panic.

People are advised to remain indoors/in safe places and cooperate with state government officials and disaster management agencies.