Tamil Nadu

Cyclone Nivar | Three killed, crops damaged as storm crosses Tamil Nadu coast

Residents stand near damaged houses at Bommayarpalayam on the East Coast Road on November 26, 2020. Over 30 houses were damaged at the coastal hamlet following heavy rains triggered by Cyclone Nivar, which made its landfall near Marakkanam in Villupuram district late on November 25, 2020.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

Severe cyclonic storm Nivar, which made landfall early on Thursday at Marakkanam in Villupuram district, between Puducherry and Chennai, left three persons dead and caused considerable damage to crops and fields, besides leaving many areas inundated. The storm system is likely to move northwestwards and weaken into a low pressure by Friday.

Several interior areas such as Ambur, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore and Arani experienced rain and strong winds of 50 kmph.

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Light to moderate rain may continue over a few places in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal for the next 48 hours.

According to the India Meteorological Department, Nivar, which crossed the TN coast as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds of 120 kmph and rain-filled, has moved inland and would gradually weaken by Friday.

The Indian Army of Dakshin Bharat Area Headquarters which had positioned 22 rescue teams in Puducherry, Chennai and Tiruchirappalli helped clear uprooted trees on the arterial roads following landfall. The team helped the Puducherry administration to resume normal activities with minimum loss of time, a press release said.


NDRF teams helped in relief and restoration activities in areas where they were stationed. They helped evacuate people in Mudichur area that saw severe flooding.

Rain deficit wiped out

During landfall that started at 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday night and lasted till 2.30 a.m. on Thursday, Nivar dumped extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal areas. Tambaram, a southwestern suburb of Chennai, recorded the highest rainfall at 31 cm, followed by Puducherry at 30 cm, Cuddalore, 27 cm, and Chidambaram 13 cm. In Chennai city, Nungambakkam recorded 11 cm, and Poonamallee and Taramani 10 cm each till 6.30 a.m. on Thursday.

A view of a waterlogged Villupuram Road near Indira Gandhi Square in Puducherry following heavy rain under the impact of Cyclone Nivar on November 26, 2020.

A view of a waterlogged Villupuram Road near Indira Gandhi Square in Puducherry following heavy rain under the impact of Cyclone Nivar on November 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR


Deputy Director-General of Meteorology (Chennai) S. Balachandran said Chennai’s seasonal rainfall deficit that stood at 11% had now moved to an excess of 36%. Puducherry’s shortfall of nearly 37% has moved to a surplus of 13% in a single day, thanks to the cyclonic storm.

While the State still has an overall deficit of 18%, Nivar has brought down the shortfall by 8% over the past few days, Mr. Balachandran said.

Also read | Nivar causes damage in Vellore, Tirupathur and Ranipet districts

Extensive preparations by the Tamil Nadu government, including moving more than 2.27 lakh vulnerable persons to relief camps as of 10 a.m. on Thursday gave way to post-landfall restoration work, including clearing fallen trees, pumping out water from low lying areas.

Chennai residents escaped the fury of the storm by and large, though the storm left a trail of uprooted trees and flooding in certain areas, Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said.

A fresh low-pressure area is likely to form over central parts of the south Bay of Bengal around November 29. It is likely to move west and has the potential to become a cyclonic storm and impact south Tamil Nadu, according to the Meteorological Department. On the new system, Mr. Balachandran said the Bay of Bengal had churned out back-to-back weather systems.

Also read | Cyclone Nivar damage minimal in delta districts

“It may gain strength subsequently and impact south Tamil Nadu. But, it is early to confirm its intensity and landfall. Districts in the south and interior areas still need more rains to reach their average for the season. There is still time for the formation of another weather system around December 10 and we are monitoring these systems,” he added.

The Meteorological Department has forecast that Chennai will experience thunderstorms with light to moderate rain till Saturday. 

Heavy rain pounded different parts of south coastal Andhra Pradesh throwing life out of gear in SPSR Nellore and Prakasam districts and inundating low-lying areas. Vehicular traffic was hit at several places as rivers and rivulets were in spate.

Paddy seedlings in 2500 hectares were submerged in Nellore district, while standing crops in 34,000 hectares were affected in Prakasam district.

Six people who were stranded in floodwaters were rescued in Chittoor district on Thursday.

Two farmers stranded in gushing waters were rescued by the NDRF team from Rallavagu in Renigunta mandal. Four four persons, including three women, had a miraculous escape when the car in which they were travelling stopped in the gushing waters of Pathuruvanka. Two police officers pushed the car to safety.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed officials to take all steps to contain the damage. Mr. Reddy said, along with measures for rehabilitation of the affected people, officials should also assess the damage caused to crops

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:19:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cyclone-nivar-claims-3-lives-over-227-lakh-persons-in-relief-camps/article33182810.ece

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