Met department said in a bulletin on Friday morning.
The cyclone will move west-northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Sriharikota around Mahabalipuram as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph around midnight on Friday to early hours on Saturday, it said.
At 2:30 am on Friday, the cyclone was centred about 240 km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 240 km east-northeast of Jaffna (Sri Lanka), 240 km east-southeast of Karaikal and about 320 km south-southeast of Chennai, the IMD said.
Intense spells of rainfall are likely to occur over Thiruvallur, Chennai, Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram districts of Tamil Nadu during the next three hours, the Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai said at 7:00 am on Friday. Moderate to light rainfall is also expected over several districts in Tamil Nadu and over Puducherry and Karaikal.
Rainfall is set to recede following landfall.
The Tamil Nadu government said 12 teams of nearly 400 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State force have been deployed in ten districts including Nagapattinam and Thanjavur in the Cauvery delta region, Chennai, its three neighbouring districts and Cuddalore.
Schools in several districts of Tamil Nadu including Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, Vellore, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Ranipet, Perambalur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and some others will remain closed on Friday.
A high-level meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu who directed officials to ensure that all stipulated measures are followed including prior announcement on release of surplus water from reservoirs and shifting people living in vulnerable areas to relief shelters. People have been advised to avoid travelling on Friday.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed the Collectors of various districts to be vigilant in view of the cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal. He held a review meeting with the officials concerned here over the cyclone, an official release said.
He said adequate precautions should be taken by the authorities reviewing the impact of the storm from time to time. The officials informed the Chief Minister that rain is predicted in Nellore, Tirupati, Chittoor and other districts.
A defence release said that several measures have been initiated by the Coast Guard (Eastern Region) to prepare for the cyclonic storm. “CG ships and aircraft have been continuously issuing advisories and shepherding fishing boats to return to harbour.” All oil rigs, offshore installations have been requested to ensure safety of personnel, the release said.
The well-marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal intensified into a depression on December 6 and it further intensified into a “deep depression” on Wednesday.
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