Cyclone Burevi is expected to cross the coast of Tamil Nadu early on Friday morning, having crossed the Sri Lankan coast on Wednesday night.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD), which had earlier said that Burevi would be a cyclonic storm when it reaches Tamil Nadu, on Thursday indicated that it would weaken into a deep depression.
In a bulletin, the IMD said that Burevi, which was over the Gulf of Mannar, had weakened into a deep depression on Thursday and lay close to Ramanathapuram district coast as on Thursday night, “about 30 km west-southwest of Pamban and 190 km east-northeast of Kanyakumari,” the IMD said. The associated wind speed is about 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph, it said.
The IMD statement said the deep depression would move west-southwestwards and cross Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi districts by early Friday morning with wind speed of 50-60 kmph gusting up to 70 kmph. The cyclone is also very likely to weaken further into a depression with wind speed of 40-50 kmph, gusting up to 60 kmph by Friday morning.
While southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been experiencing rainfall since Thursday afternoon, IMD has issued red alert for Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari districts in Tamil Nadu and Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts in Kerala.
Heavy to very heavy rains are predicted in Trichy, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Dindigul, Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Villipuram, Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam, Erode and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu in the next three hours.
More than 300 families near Pamban have been moved into cyclone shelters in Tamil Nadu.
The Kerala Heath department has said that all precautionary measures have been taken to combat health issues caused by the cyclone and rains.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister Amit Shah assured all help to the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, adding that several teams of NDRF are on the standby for rescue and relief operation.
Fishing operations have been suspended in the Bay of Bengal and along and off east Sri Lanka coast on December 3, in the Comorin Area, Gulf of Mannar and south Tamil Nadu-Kerala and west Sri Lanka coasts from December 3 to 4 and over the Lakshadweep-Maldives areas and southeast Arabian Sea from December 3 to 5.
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Cyclone Burevi, which has been named by the Maldives, comes close on the heels of Cyclone Nivar, which made a landfall near Puducherry last week, bringing heavy rains to coastal parts of the Union territory and neighbouring Tamil Nadu.