National carrier Indigo on Tuesday announced that due to Cyclone Nivar it has cancelled 49 flights to and from southern India on November 25. Nivar is the second cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in 2020. In May, Cyclone Amphan had developed into a ‘super cyclonic storm’.
The flights to or from in the southern region, mainly Chennai, have been disrupted, news agency ANI quoted Indigo. Indigo added that it will monitor the situation and decide on the further course of action for November 26.
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) November 24, 2020
“Due to Cyclone Nivar, IndiGo flights to or from in the southern region, mainly Chennai, have been disrupted. 49 flights that were scheduled for tomorrow have been cancelled. We will monitor the situation and decide on the further course of action for November 26,” read the IndiGo statement.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Indigo had earlier in the evening said that flight operations to and from Chennai, Rajahmundry, Tiruchirappalli and Vijayawada are likely to be impacted.
“IndiGo Cyclone Alert! Due to cyclonic movement “Nivar”, flight operations to/from Chennai, Rajahmundry, Tiruchirappalli and Vijayawada are likely to be impacted. Any changes/cancellations will be notified via email/SMS. Stay safe and keep a tab on your flight status,” it tweeted.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) took stock of the status of the “very severe cyclonic storm” ‘Nivar’ that is expected to hit coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Wednesday, and assured the states of all possible help, including the early release of the disaster relief fund.
The NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, also directed all concerned to continue work aiming at zero loss of life and early restoration of normalcy in the affected areas that include power and telecommunications networks, an official spokesperson said. The NCMC reviewed the status of impending cyclone Nivar at a meeting held through video conferencing with the chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The chief secretaries of the three states, directors general of India Meteorological Department and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) briefed the NCMC about their preparedness and mentioned that the authorities are fully prepared to meet any eventuality. The chief of the NDRF said so far 30 teams of the force have been deployed in the three states, while 20 more teams have been kept on standby for immediate deployment.
A team of NDRF comprises of about 40 personnel. The NCMC was also informed that about 15 districts of the three states are expected to hit by the cyclone and several thousand people living along the coastline have been shifted to shelter houses, the spokesperson said. The cabinet secretary assured the chief secretaries all necessary assistance, and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla conveyed that the required financial assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund will be released on Wednesday.
The cabinet secretary also asked everyone to circulate the Do’s and Don’ts to the people living along the coastal areas asking them to stay calm, ignore rumours, keep mobile phones charged, listen to the radio, not to enter damaged buildings, leave home for safer places if the current house is not secured and switch off the main power connection, among others. The meeting was informed about the coordination between the NDRF and other agencies to meet this challenge.
The director-general of the India Meteorological Department made a presentation on the present situation and mentioned that the status is being shared with the state governments concerned. It was stressed in the meeting that the advisories issued to the fishermen asking them not to go into the sea should be strictly implemented, the spokesperson said.
The secretaries of various central government ministries and departments attended the meeting. Cyclone Nivar is expected to intensify into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram on the late evening of November 25, the IMD said.