Cyclone Nivar Weakens After Thrashing TN & Puducherry, 3 Dead

New Delhi/Chennai: Cyclone Nivar hurtled into the Puducherry coast on the wee hours of Thursday, uprooting trees and packing strong winds and rains as tens of thousands of people took refuge in shelters.

Nivar, which is moving towards northwest direction, is excepted to weaken into a normal cyclonic storm in the south interior districts of Karnataka, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Bengaluru said on Thursday.

At least three people were killed while another three suffered injuries due to Cyclone Nivar in Tamil Nadu, a top state government official said on Thursday.

“It was a very serious cyclone. Due to measures taken by the state government, things are very much in control. As of now only 3 deaths have been reported while 3 people were injured. 101 huts damaged, and 380 fallen trees removed. There is a complete restoration of essential services. There is no problem of drinking water, electricity, or any healthcare,” Additional Chief Secretary Atulya Mishra was quoted as saying by ANI.

Meanwhile, the IMD informed that Cyclone Nivar made landfall around 2.30 am with winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour.

Thousands of state and national emergency personnel were deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry as authorities suspended power supply across several cities to prevent damage to the electricity grid.

Initially classified as a “very severe cyclonic storm” as it swirled in the Bay of Bengal, Nivar weakened after landfall into a “severe cyclonic storm”, the IMD said, according to an NDTV report.

It is forecast to move north and further weaken over the next few hours, it added.

The danger “is not over yet as some part of the cyclone is still over the sea though centre is over the land”, the IMD tweeted.

The fierce winds uprooted trees and toppled electricity pylons while downpours lashed parts of the region, causing flash floods.

The coastal states have been bracing for the cyclone — the fifth-strongest category on India’s scale of seven storm types — and more than a lakh people were evacuated from low-lying areas. Nivar has forced Tamil Nadu authorities to declare a public holiday till Thursday, close the Chennai airport and metro services.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami appealed to people to stay indoors as far as possible and said over 4,000 “vulnerable” locations had been identified and local officials have been told to ensure people’s safety.

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