Cyclone Gaja moves closer to Chennai, landfall likely Thursday

Chennai: After cyclone Gaja was spotted Saturday, it has been intensifying and moving towards the Tamilnadu coast. With a powerful landfall expected between Chennai and Nagapattinam Thursday, the Met department has predicted scattered, heavy to very heavy rain and isolated extremely heavy rain over Tamilnadu which is indeed a warning sign for major flooding in the landfall areas.

An official said, “Cyclonic storm Gaja over westcentral and adjoining eastcentral and southeast Bay of Bengal moved further nearly westwards with a speed of 6 kmph today and currently lay centered over westcentral and adjoining eastcentral and southeast Bay of Bengal about 740 km east-northeast of Chennai and 840 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam. It is very likely to make a landfall between Nagapattinam and Chennai Thursday forenoon.”

“In its wake, heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over north coastal Tamilnadu and Puducherry Wednesday. Scattered heavy to very heavy rain with isolated extremely heavy rain is likely to occur over north Tamilnadu and Puducherry, heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over south Tamilnadu Thursday. In the last 24 hours, Tamilnadu predominantly remained dry with Thuckalay alone recording 1 cm of rain,” he added.

HOLD DISCUSSIONS

Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan today held discussions to tackle the destruction that may be caused by cyclone Gaja with Collectors and Revenue officials through video-conferencing. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had discussions at the Secretariat with State Disaster Management officials, Local Administration officials, etc.

Distant warning signal No. 2 with section signal No. 2, 3, and 5 have been kept hoisted at Chennai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam ports and distant cautionary signal No. 1  has been hoisted at Ennore, Kattupally, Puducherry and Karaikal ports.

Distant warning signal No. 2 has been hoisted at Pamban and Toothukudi ports while information has been given to Colachel and Rameswaram ports.

As two more days are remaining for the cyclone’s landfall, Chennai remained dry just like the rest of Tamilnadu. “The city witnessed up to 2 degrees Celsius spike in temperatures from normal in the last 24 hours. Maximum and minimum temperatures were 32.1 and 23.2 degrees Celsius. Humidity prevailed at 80 per cent. For the next 24 hours, sky condition is likely to be generally cloudy,” said the Met official.

NT Bureau