The wind speed when Nivar crosses the coast will be 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.
Vessels in the city's port have been moved to sea and port operations will likely remain shut until the cyclone makes landfall, a senior port official said.
Almost 1,200 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue personnel have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and 800 others are on standby in view of cyclone Nivar, the "very severe cyclonic storm" which is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening.
The National Crisis Management Committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, on Monday met and apart from reviewing various measures in view of the cyclone, it also directed various stakeholders, including state governments concerned, to continue to work with an aim of zero loss of life and early restoration of normalcy in affected areas.
Very heavy rainfall - 120 mm - was recorded in Chennai/Minabakkam from 0830 hours IST of yesterday to 0530 hours IST of today.
"Isolated extremely heavy rainfall activity also very likely over coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ariyalur and Perabalu districts during 24th and Kadalur, Kallakurchi, Puducherry, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chengalpattu to Ariyalur, Perambalur and Karaikal districts during 25th) and over Nellore and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh on 25th and over Rayalseema and southeast Telangana on 26th November", the IMD said.
"Near latitude 10.2°N and longitude 82.0°E about 300 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 310 km east southeast of Puducherry and 370 km south southeast of Chennai".
Similarly, the Puducherry government too has announced Thursday as public holiday.
Over the next 12 hours, Nivar is likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said government agencies are on their toes to deal with the any emergency situationin the state.
The Southern Railway has cancelled suburban train services and also some long distance trains owing to Nivar. People living in lowlying areas have been evacuated. Houses in the low-lying areas have been evacuated and fishermen have been advised not to venture out into the sea.
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