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Very Severe Cyclonic Storm “Nivar” makes landfall in Tamil Nadu, India

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Tropical Cyclone "Nivar" made landfall near Marakkanam in Tamil Nadu, some 22 km (13 miles) north of Puducherry, between 23:30 LT on November 25 and 02:30 LT on November 26, 2020 (18:00 – 21:00 UTC, November 25). It was classified as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm at the time of landfall, with an estimated wind speed of 120 to 130 km/h (75 – 80 mph) and gusts to 145 km/h (90 mph), according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Early reports mention 3 fatalities.

Nivar weakened into a Severe Cyclonic Storm by the time it finished the landfall process, around 21:00 UTC, and had a wind speed of 100 – 110 km/h (62 – 68 mph) and gusts to 120 km/h (75 mph).

In 22 hours to 06:30 LT on November 26, Puducherry received 300 mm (11.8 inches), Cuddalore 270 mm (10.6 inches), Chidambaram 130 mm (5.1 inches), Chennai 113 mm (4.4 inches), Karaikal 96 mm (3.7 inches) and Nagapattinam 63 mm (2.4 inches).

In Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati recorded 147 mm (5.7 inches), Nellore 128 mm (5 inches), and Kavali 63 mm (2.4 inches). Venkatagiri in the Nellore district received the state's highest rainfall of 245 mm (9.6 inches).

Neary 138 000 people have evacuated ahead of the storm, including 28 161 children, from the low-lying areas and unsafe buildings across Tamil Nadu. Indian Navy ships, aircraft, helicopters, diving, and disaster relief teams were placed on standby.

According to Atulya Mishra, additional chief secretary of Tamil Nadu, three people have lost their lives and three others were injured due to the rough weather and the subsequent damage caused by the cyclone. Nivar has also damaged 101 huts and caused about 380 trees to fall, Mishra said.

The government officials in Tamil Nadu's capital Chennai said they have released water from a major reservoir and cleared fallen trees, adding that they continue to constantly monitoring four other reservoirs in anticipation of a rapid rise in water levels to avoid a repeat of 2015 flooding which killed several hundred people.

At 03:30 UTC on November 26, the center of Cyclonic Storm "Nivar" was located over north coastal Tamil Nadu, about 85 km (53 miles) NNW of Puducherry and about 95 km (59 miles) WSW of Chennai.

It had maximum sustained surface wind speed of 70 to 80 km/h (44 – 50 mph) and gusts to 90 km/h (56 mph), according to the IMD. It was moving NW at a speed of 13 km/h (8 mph).

IMD forecasters expect Nivar to continue moving NW and weaken further into a Deep Depression during the next 6 hours and into a depression by subsequent 6 hours.

Featured image: Tropical Cyclone "Nivar" at 03:00 UTC on November 26, 2020. Credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW

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