The severe cyclonic storm Nivar made its landfall between Karaikal and Mamallapuram near Puducherry, crossing the coast in the early hours of November 26. While it brought heavy rain and winds its impact was much lesser than anticipated as it weakened after hitting the coast.
Nivar’s wind speed was reported between 110 km/hr and 120km/hr, less than the predicted 150 km/hr. More than 1.5 lakh people have been housed in different relief camps in Chennai, Vizhuppuram and Cuddalore districts as a precautionary measure.
The northern parts of the state continue to receive rainfall as the storm is yet to die down fully. Nivar is moving north-east from Puducherry, bringing rains to the interior districts of the state, including Vellore.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of severe rainfall in Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh. Districts in southern Karnataka are also expected to receive rain, according to the IMD.
Severe rains caused flooding in low-lying areas in Chennai, Cuddalore, Vizhuppuram and Kallakurichi districts and in the Union Territory of Puducherry. Two people have succumbed to rain-related accidents in the state so far.
Flood warnings were also issued to the people living near the banks of the rivers Arani in Thiruvallur district and Adyar in Chennai. Close to 10 villages in Vizhuppuram were reportedly isolated as roads were damaged due to the rains.
Banana plantations and sugarcane crops were severely damaged due to strong winds in Cuddalore district. These crops are not covered under the crop insurance scheme, leading to a loss for the farmers. Sugarcane is an important part of the Pongal festival celebrated during January in the state.
Parts of Chennai, including Mudichur and KK Nagar, reported waist-deep water. Mudichur was among the most affected areas in the 2015 Chennai floods, with its residents complaining of the absence of a long-term solution for the problem.
The Chennai Corporation region saw more than 250 trees being uprooted due to the rains. The city limits are still witnessing 70 km/hr winds and intermittent rain in most parts.
The reduced wind speed has resulted in lesser damage than expected. However, the severe rainfall has inundated low-lying parts of Chennai and neighbouring districts.
National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams are at work in Puducherry, Cuddalore and Vizhuppuram.
Tambaram, a neighbourhood in southern Chennai recorded 31.4 cm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, the highest reported from the state. The outflow from Chembarambakkam lake had been reduced to 1,000 cusecs from 9,000 cusecs by midnight on November 25. The lake discharged more than 30,000 cusecs of water, leaving most parts of the state underwater for several days.
Fishing villages were put on high alert due to the cyclone. Country-made boats were moved far away from the shores to protect them while mechanised boats were bound together and anchored in the fishing harbours. There have been no reports on damage to fishing hamlets so far.
Puducherry also witnessed strong winds and heavy rain over the past 24 hours. The region continues to receive heavy rainfall leaving the parts of the capital city under knee-deep water. Electricity is yet to be restored in the city, which has received 23 cm of rain in the last 24 hours.
The damage done to villages is not known yet, with power yet to be restored in most parts of the rain-affected areas.