One lakh in Tamil Nadu cyclone relief centres
Gusty winds and rain lashed parts of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday as severe cyclone Nivar hurtled towards the coast, leaving several areas inundated and sending over one lakh people to shelters.
Nivar is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm, with wind speeds of 120-130kmph and gusts of 145 kmph, and is likely to cross the coast between Tamil Nadu and Puducherry before dawn on Thursday.
With rain drenching parts of the state, authorities disconnected power supply in vulnerable areas as a precautionary measure.
While chief minister K. Palaniswami declared Thursday a public holiday for 13 districts, a government order included three more districts.
Revenue minister R.B. Udhayakumar said 1,03,291 people had been housed in 1,000 relief centres. Food, water and all other essentials, including masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, have been made available at the relief centres.
A senior official said later that the number of those in relief centres had exceeded 1,21,152.
Chennai airport authorities said operations would remain suspended from 7pm on Wednesday to 7am on Thursday. Southern Railway said eight trains had been cancelled. Chennai Metro halted services early on Wednesday.