The Met department has said that the cyclonic storm Nilam has moved to 320 km just South-South West of Chennai. The cyclone has been named Nilam as it is expected to cross Nagapattinam and Nellore in southern part of Andhra Pradesh state by Wednesday evening.
Heavy rains all through the night due to the depression have thrown life out of gear in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Chennai Met Department has issued advisory on wind reaching a speed of 85-90 km per hour during the time of its landfall.
The exact time of the storm crossing the coast has not yet been announced, but it is expected to cross this evening. A cyclone alert was issued in coastal parts of India's southern states on Tuesday as the deep depression, which had formed in the Bay of Bengal, has intensified into a cyclonic storm.
The Met office said that the depression which lay centred 500 km southeast of Chennai and 270 km north east of Trincomalee would intensify further into a cyclonic storm and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra coast between Nagapattinam and Nellore. "The deep depression on Monday, which was lying 500 kilometres east-southeast of Chennai has intensified into a cyclonic storm and it has been named Nilam. This cyclonic storm is expected to cross between Nagapattinam and Nellore on Wednesday evening or afternoon, probably closer to Chennai, south of Chennai," said Director, Met office, Chennai, SR Ramanan.
Chennai, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Villupuram received heavy rains on Tuesday morning. Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into the sea by the Met department. "As far as the forecast of the next 24 hours is concerned, north coast of Tamil Nadu will have rainfall at most places. One or two places in interiors of north Tamil Nadu may experience heavy rainfall. Few places will experience heavy rainfall and one or two places very heavy rainfall in the north coast of Tamil Nadu," Ramanan added.
The district administrations have geared up to face any eventuality and have closed schools in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Chennai. The Andhra Pradesh government has also sounded a high alert along the south coastal and adjoining Rayalaseema districts as the deep depression in Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross the coast by Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, roared ashore with fierce winds and heavy rain on Monday near the gambling resort of Atlantic City, forcing evacuations, shutting down transportation and interrupting the presidential campaign.