Chennai: After being stationary for a long time over Bay of Bengal, Cyclone Nilam is now moving towards landfall and is expected to cross between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coasts Wednesday evening, said a senior weather department official.
“The system (cyclone) is moving at around 10-12 kmph and is expected to cross the coast between Chennai and Cuddalore (in Tamil Nadu) or between Cuddalore and Nellore (Andhra Pradesh),” Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), told.
He said the cyclone was stationary for a long time, but is now moving and is around 320 km off the Chennai coast.
According to Raj, the wind speed at the time of landfall will be around 80 kmph and gusting at 100 kmph.
Stating there is nothing unique about Nilam, Raj said there will be three or four cyclones over Bay of Bengal and these would go towards Myanmmar, West Bengal or Bangladesh.
Raj said Nilam has come under the Doppler radar of IMD here and it is being tracked well.
Queried about Cyclone Thane that ripped through Cuddalore and Puducherry last December and killed around 46 in both the regions, Raj said that Thane was very severe.
Nilam is not severe like Cyclone Thane, he added.
According to him, Nilam will bring in heavy showers over coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The sea will be rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 36 hour, as per weather bulletin issued by the IMD.
Storm surge of about 1 to 1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low lying areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts in Tamil Nadu and the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
Standing crops – paddy, groundnut and maize – in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are likely to be damaged, said a weather bulletin.
The Tamil Nadu government has ordered all schools and colleges in the coastal districts closed.
All operations at the Chennai Port – loading, unloading of cargo and berthing of ships – has been halted and some ships have been asked to move into the sea and anchor there, said a port official.