With Cyclone Nivar expected to make landfall by Wednesday midnight and during the early hours of 26 November, heavy rainfall and strong winds have hit the southern coast of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Several fishermen living in the coastal region in Mahabalipuram have been evacuated and shifted to relief centres. Koovathur, about 100 kilometres from Chennai, towards Puducherry has had a rough day and is looking at a stormy night.
Authorities have been put on alert.
Fisherfolk living in Alikuppam, Periyakuppam, Chinnakuppam and Nadukuppam villages in the coast have moved their boats further into the land, fearing heavy winds.
The coastal region is bracing for heavy rainfall and water levels have already risen significantly. Indian Meteorological Department has warned that the impact of the cyclone will be felt severely even six hours after the landfall.
“We have shifted our children and women to a safe shelter. We are taking cover in a house on a fifth floor and keeping a watch over our boots. First it was coronavirus and now this cyclone. We are worried for any damages to our homes too,” said Sathish, a fisherman from Koovathur.
Fishermen have been advised to not venture out into sea till 26 November, until further orders. The winds are predicted to blow at a speed of 100-120 km at most places of the state, which can cause severe damages to metal roofs and thatched huts, as per Indian Meteorological Department.
They have raised alarm that even their motors and fishing nets can incur damage during the cyclone and are hoping it is not a repeat of the 2015 Vardah cyclone.
Many have reached out to the officials for help as some of their boats have been damaged already in the winds.
Many fishermen from Karaikal, who had ventured into the sea for fishing five days ago, have not been traced. The Puducherry government has alerted the Indian coast Guard to trace and rescue them.
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