Tamil Nadu CM issues directions ahead of Cyclone Nivar

Calm before the storm: Fishermen mending their nets at a beach in Puducherry on November 23, 2020.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

As the State braces itself for Cyclone Nivar, six NDRF teams have been shifted from Arakkonam to Cuddalore, while two teams will be stationed in Chennai. The Tamil Nadu government has suspended bus services in seven districts — Pudukottai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Chengalpattu — from 1 p.m. on November 24, till further orders.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chaired a meeting on Monday to take stock of the preventive measures in place and gave a number of directions to officials to ensure that people remain safe.

Mr. Palaniswami also requested the public in these districts to avoid venturing out of their homes unless it is essential to do so.

Watch | T.N. and Puducherry prepare for cyclone Nivar

Adequate equipment

He instructed officials of the local administrations, municipalities, revenue, fire, public works, highways, electricity, health and other departments to be ready with adequate lighting equipment, JCBs, lorries, tree-removal equipment, sandbags and electric poles from Monday evening in districts that are on the path of the cyclone.

Tamil Nadu CM issues directions ahead of Cyclone Nivar

Officials have been directed to camp in these seven districts and ensure precautionary measures are in place.

Officials have also been instructed to move people living in low-lying areas and in unstable buildings to relief camps, and ensure adequate availability of water, toilet facilities, generators, raw materials to prepare food, cooking vessels and bedding for those at the camps.

Keeping in mind the COVID-19 protocols, the necessary stock of sanitisers should also be kept at the camps, the CM added.

Pump sets to draw out water from low-lying areas and disinfectants to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases from stagnant water should also be kept ready, while overhead tanks should be filled to ensure that water supply is not disrupted, he said.

The Electricity Department has been instructed to get 1,000 additional staff. Additional electricity poles and transformers should also be kept ready.

Earlier in the day, Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar said the Chief Minister had also directed that bund-strengthening measures should be undertaken in lakes that are almost full to prevent any breach.

Fishermen alerted

Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said in a statement that the Department had stopped issuing tokens and diesel to fishermen from November 21.

All those who had left for fishing before that date were asked to return ashore through VHF and satellite phones, and they have returned.

The Minister said 146 fishing boats in the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh waters have been contacted and asked to immediately return to Chennai or the Krishnapatnam port. As a precautionary measure, boats and other equipment have been stored in safe places, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 1:59:41 AM |

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