Tamil Nadu gets rain as cyclone Gaja approaches

The outer bands of the low-pressure system of cyclone Gaja entered land, bringing with it rainfall to the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

“The cyclonic storm is still 95 kms away and is yet to make landfall. Earlier, we had said that it will hit the coast between Pamban and Cuddalore, now we know it will hit somewhere south of Nagapattinam,” said Mrityunjay Mohapatra, senior scientist at IMD. The current wind speed of the cyclone is 90-100 kms, gusting to 110 kms.

The IMD had on Thursday morning predicted that the cyclone would likely make landfall between 8 pm and 11 pm, with a “red message” to alert officials that the cyclone is about 12 hours away from the coastline.

“The red message is issued to alert concerned officers that the cyclone is at least 12 hours away. This message provides warning as well as post-landfall outlook,” said Mohapatra.

The forecast also shows a storm surge or rising of the sea, as a result of wind and atmospheric pressure changes, of about 1 metre above the astronomical tide.

This is likely to inundate low-lying areas in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry at the time of landfall. After landfall, cyclone Gaja is likely to retain its intensity for about six hours and gale winds of 60 to 70 km/hr are likely over interior districts of Tamil Nadu.

The IMD has also issued a red warning for rainfall over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Most places in the state are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall on Thursday. Coastal areas such as Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, and Tuticorin and in-land areas like Thanjavur, Pudukottai, and Ramanathapuram are likely to get extremely heavy rainfall of more than 20 cms.

Most places in south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, and Kerala will receive rainfall, with heavy rainfall in areas like Nellore, Prakasan, Chittoor, and isolated places in South Kerala. The IMD has also issued an orange warning for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala for Friday, expecting heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated areas.

Major damage from the cyclone is likely over Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry.

First Published: Nov 15, 2018 23:46 IST

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