Cyclone Nivar slams southern coast; cold conditions in north

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (PTI) Normal life was upended in parts of southern India as severe cyclonic storm Nivar slammed the coasts early Thursday morning, killing at least three people and uprooting hundreds of trees, before weakening into a deep depression, even as a fresh spell of snowfall was recorded in Himachal Pradesh in the north.

Meanwhile, the national capital recorded a minimum temperature of 10.4 degrees Celsius, one notch below the normal. Cold wave condition is expected in the city for the next two days due to a likely fall in minimum temperatures over northwest India.

Nivar made landfall near Puducherry in the early hours of Thursday, dumping heavy rains in the union territory and neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Officials said at least three people were killed in Tamil Nadu, over 1,000 trees uprooted and some low-lying areas marooned due to water-logging following heavy rains in the wake of the cyclone Nivar which barged in from the Bay of Bengal with gusty wind having an estimated speed of 120-130 kmph going up to 145 kmph.

Subsequently, Nivar weakened into a cyclonic storm and further into a deep depression by the afternoon.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and assured them all possible help from the Centre.

The cyclone led to snapping of overhead electricity cables in a few places and Chennai residents also complained of internet outages.

Low lying neighbourhoods in Chennai, including those in suburban Irumbuliyur, Mudichur and Urapakkam, witnessed flooding and water entered the houses of many residents.

Rescue personnel ferried cooked food to the people using inflatable boats. The residents of some of the affected areas shifted to the homes of their relatives, while others continued to stay put battling the odds.

Airport operations, Metrorail and bus transport, which were suspended due to the cyclone, resumed during the day.

Puducherry witnessed heavy rains and inundation in some parts, but there were no reports of loss of life due to the cyclone.

A prohibitory order was in force in the union territory since November 24 to prevent the movement of people and minimize damage. The curb on gathering was lifted Thursday.

Meanwhile, the IMD said Tamil Nadu is likely to receive another spell of very heavy rainfall as a fresh low pressure area is expected to form in the Bay of Bengal from November 29 onwards.

Up north in Himachal Pradesh, tourist attractions of Kufri and Manali received fresh snowfall and some other parts of the state witnessed rainfall in the past 24 hours, the MeT department said Thursday evening.

Kufri in Shimla district and Manali in Kullu district received 10 cm snowfall each. Kalpa recorded 17 cm snowfall and Keylong 3 cm.

In Uttar Pradesh, light rains occurred at isolated places over western districts, while the weather remained dry over eastern parts with shallow to moderate fog at isolated places.

There was no large change in maximum temperatures in Uttar Pradesh. The highest maximum temperature was recorded in Jhansi at 29.1 degrees Celsius, while Churk was the coldest place in the state at 6.1 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Haryana and Punjab hovered few notches above normal even though several parts of the two neighbouring states received overnight rains. Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 13.5 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal.

Karnal in Haryana recorded a minimum of 13.5 degrees Celsius, up three notches while Ambala registered a low of 11.8 degrees Celsius, up two degrees against normal limits.

Hisar (10.2 degrees Celsius), Narnaul (11.5 degrees Celsius), Bhiwani (9 degrees Celsius) and Sirsa (12.3 degrees Celsius) also recorded above normal minimum temperatures.

However, Rohtak experienced a cold night at 7 degrees Celsius, down three notches against normal.

In Punjab, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded minimum temperatures of 12.6 degrees Celsius and 12.9 degrees Celsius, respectively, up by three notches each. PTI TEAM TIR TIR