A developing cyclonic disturbance in the Bay of Bengal is expected to become a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ by Tuesday evening, according to the cyclone warning division of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“There will be damage to standing crop, trees could fall and thatched rooftops are likely to be blown away given its intensity,” said M. Mohapatra, Director General, IMD. “We have issued warnings beginning Saturday and so this should give fishermen and farmers sometime for rescue and salvaging.”
India uses a five-step classification scheme for cyclonic storms, with those bearing windspeeds of 90-100 kmph termed ‘severe cyclonic storm’ and those with progressively higher speeds mentionwed as ‘very severe’ and ‘extremely severe’ ones.
The developing storm, were it to become a cyclone on Tuesday, will be called NIVAR, said Mr. Mohapatra. It currently hovers about 520 km south-southeast of Puducherry and 560 km south-southeast of Chennai.
“It is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours. It is very likely to move north-westwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around 25th November 2020 afternoon,” said the IMD’s afternoon update on Monday.
Union Cabinet Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba on Monday chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the States’ preparedness via a videoconference with the Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Secretaries from the Ministries of Home, Power, Telecommunication, Civil Aviation, Shipping and Health; Chairman, Railway Board; Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Agency; and representatives of the National Disaster Response Force and the Ministry of Defence also informed the NCMC about the arrangements and assistance to the States concerned .
October to December is a ‘cyclone season’ that sees several originating in the Bay of Bengal as well as the Arabian Sea.