The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for areas in coastal Tamil Nadu as Cyclone Gaja, a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal, is set to make landfall on Thursday, November 15. This includes Chennai, which may experience very heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday as the cyclone makes landfall between Chennai and Nagapattinam.
“Heavy to very heavy rain at a few places with extremely heavy rain at isolated places likely over north Tamilnadu & Puducherry, heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places over south Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and south Tamil Nadu and heavy rain at isolated places over Kerala,” according to an IMD bulletin issued Monday.
The weather agency also said that the cyclonic storm Gaja, over west central and adjoining east central and southeast Bay of Bengal moved further westwards. As of 5.30 am on Monday, it lay centered about 740 km east northeast of Chennai and 840 km east northeast of Nagapattinam district.
“It is very likely to move west southwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours and maintain the intensity during subsequent 24 hours. Thereafter, while moving west southwestwards, it is also likely to weaken gradually and cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai as a cyclonic storm during 15th November forenoon,” according to IMD.
Meanwhile, it is reported that TN Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan is meeting with officials from National Disaster Management Authority, National Disaster Response Force, and the state Revenue and Disaster Management Department on Monday to discuss cyclone preparedness.
‘Tamil Nadu Weatherman’ Pradeep John, an independent weather blogger, has stated that landfall areas may expect “extreme rains.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday, he wrote, “Extreme rains can be expected around landfall area and also in north western Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu coastal belt of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Villupuram, Nagai will also get good rains. Entire North interior Tamil Nadu districts Tirchy, Ariyalur, Villupuram,Perambalur, Karur, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbaore, Nilgiris, Thiruvannamalai will also get rains. Kerala too will get one day of rains. South TN which got excess rains till date will see less rains from Gaja.”