Tiruchirapalli

Cyclone Nivar shuts down life in coastal districts

Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services personnel leave for various parts of Nagapattinam district equipped with rafts and other emergency equipment on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

Eerie silence prevailed along the Nagapattinam-Karaikal coastline ahead of the landfall of Nivar cyclone on Wednesday.

Squally weather accompanied with heavy rain and strong wind forced the people, including fishermen and traders, to remain indoors. The sea was rough all through the day. No one was allowed to venture into the sea as Number-6 cyclonic flag was raised in Nagapattinam and Karaikal ports.

The streets of Karaikal looked deserted as Section 144 of CrPC was promulgated mainly to keep the people indoors due to heavy rain and gusty winds.

The fishermen of Akkaraipettai in Nagapattinam and Arcottuthurai near Vedaranyam moved their boats to safety. They were all moved to neighbouring cyclone rescue centres. The police, who patrolled the coastal hamlets, made it a point to shift the fishermen to the cyclone rescue centres.

Almost all people of all walks of life, including traders, merchants, fishermen and farmers, stayed indoors in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts with the State government asking them to safeguard themselves in view of the cyclone.

Most of the highways including Thanjavur—Nagapattinam road looked deserted with suspension of public transport by the State government. Only a few vehicles, mainly ambulances, were seen on the roads. More than 90% of the commercial establishments remained closed.

Tension among the people as well as the officials was palpable as they braced themselves again to face the fury of severe cyclonic storm within two years, after the Gaja cyclone wreaked havoc in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Pudukottai district during the same period in 2018.

Up to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 45,695 people were evacuated in Nagapattinam district and were given shelter in 179 cyclone rescue centres, Nagapattinam Collector Praveen P. Nair.told The Hindu.

“The northern parts of the district witnessed heavy rainfall along with gusty winds since afternoon. It is believed to the initial impact of cyclone landfall. No one is allowed on road. They have been asked to remain indoors. We are closely monitoring the situation,” he added.

He said medical teams had been put in place in the cyclone rescue centres. They had been asked to carry out COVID-19 testing on vulnerable people. If they tested positive, they would be isolated.

H.M. Jayaram, Inspector General of Police, Central Zone, told The Hindu that 9,500 policemen had been mobilised for carrying out the rescue and rehabilitation work. They were put on maximum alert.

A total of 205 villages and places in Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts were identified as cyclone prone areas. As a precautionary measure, the residents particularly fishermen were moved to the safer places, the senior police official said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 12:10:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/cyclone-nivar-shuts-down-life-in-coastal-districts/article33178792.ece

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