NEW DELHI – Cyclonic storm Nivar is set to make landfall in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Wednesday carrying heavy rains and strong winds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (70 mph), authorities have warned.
“It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts (...) during 25th November evening as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100-110 kph gusting to 120 kph,” the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday in a press release.
With storm surges of up to one meter expected to hit the coast along with a high tide, authorities have also warned of flooding in low-lying areas of the coastal districts of the two states.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Tuesday that he had spoken to the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and “assured all possible support” from the central government.
The local government of Puducherry had banned public meetings and movement of residents from Tuesday until Thursday as part of security measures for the storm.
Strong cyclone winds can cause heavy damage to houses and affect electric and communication lines along with the possibility of roads being cut off and crops getting destroyed.
Nivar could be the third major storm to hit the country this year after at least six people were killed along the western coast by cyclone Nisarga in June, while Amphan caused widespread destruction in eastern India and Bangladesh in May, killing around 90 people.