Aauthorities on Wednesday began releasing water from Chembarambakkam reservoir into the Adyar river as a precautionary measure ahead of the landfall of cyclone Nivar.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the "super cyclonic storm" Nivar is about 290 km east-southeast of Cuddalore. Water logging was witnessed in some parts of Chennai, due to heavy rainfall ahead of Cyclone Nivar's landfall.
As the storage level touched 3,000 million cubic feet in the Chembarambakkam reservoir as against it full capacity of 3,645 Mcft, water was released into the river. As the surplus waters gushed forth with the opening of shutters after about five years, people gathered to witness the water release along the river bank.
However, they were advised by the authorities to move away considering their safety while intermittent rains lashed the city and suburbs.
Low lying areas in Chennai close to Adyar river have been evacuated.
The Chembarambakkam reserovir, among the very four important drinking water sources to Chennai is spread across 25.51 square kilometers and it is located in Kancheepuram district's Kundrathur taluk.
The Adyar river empties into the sea, traversing city localities like Kotturpuram and suburban neighbourhoods including Sirugalathur and Kundrathur.
With the flooding of the city in 2015 still fresh in the minds of the people after surplus water was discharged from Chembarambakkam, authorities said there was no cause for any concern since what unfolded then was entirely different from the current scenario.
The Greater Chennai Corporation said it has cleaned up the Adyar creek besides other canals and lakes like Mambalam and Velachery respectively.
The GCC said it has already advised people living close to the river like those in Jafferkhanpet to move to its shelters adding "169 shelters are open and ready."
For assistance, people may contact them at 044-25384530 and 044-25384540, the GCC said.
Meanwhile, IMD has warned that Nivar is likely to intensify into severe cyclonic storm and cross between Karaikal and Mahabalipuram today late evening or night.
"It is very likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts during mid-night of 25th and early hours of 26th November," IMD tweeted.
"Cyclone Nivar lays 350 km SE of Chennai moving NW and likely to intensify into severe cyclonic storm and cross between Karaikal and Mahabalipuram today late evening or night. While crossing wind speed likely to touch 145 kmph," Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Chennai said.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) senior commandant Rekha Nambiar held a discussion with Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister RB Udayakumar at State Disaster Management head office at Chepauk today.
On the other hand, Atulya Misra, Additional Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government said, "In relief camps, we need to ensure COVID19 protocols are followed & masks, sanitisers are available. There is an inventory of 27 items per person which we keep ready, this also includes dignity kit for women."
In view of cyclonic storm Nivar, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting earlier on Tuesday through video conferencing with the Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh and Secretaries of different ministries.
Gauba said that our aim should be to ensure that there is no loss of life, damage is minimum and normalcy is restored in power, telecom and other important sectors in the shortest possible time.
NDRF DG informed about the preparedness to meet the situation in next three days and said that 30 teams of NDRF have so far been deployed and 20 additional teams have been kept on standby for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.
Cyclone Nivar is likely to cross between Mamallapuram and Karaikal during midnight of Wednesday and early hours of November 26, as per India Meteorological Department (IMD).Earlier at 2.30 AM, Cyclone Nivar moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 6 kmph and lay centred in the southwest Bay of Bengal, said IMD.