CHENNAI: Cyclonic storm 'Maha' in the Arabian Sea has intensified into severe cyclonic storm on Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said.
The Cyclonic storm MAHA over Lakshadweep and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea moved further north-northwestwards and intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and lay centred over east-central Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area about 90 km north-northeast of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep) and 25 km east-north east of Chetlat(Lakshadweep), IMD said.
It is "very likely" to continue to move north-northwestwards across north Lakshadweep Islands.
Later, Maha is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm over east-central Arabian Sea during 24 hours, it said.
As the cyclone intensified, the IMD said gale winds very likely to increase upto 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph over eastcentral Arabian Sea from midnight.
During the next 24 hours, gale wind speed reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100kmph was likely to prevail over northern parts of Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea during the subsequent 24 hours and decrease gradually.
Sea conditions over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea will be high to very high during the next 24 hours and rough to very rough in the subsequent 24 hours.
Tidal wave by about one-metre height above the astronomical tides is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Lakshadweep Islands during next 12 hours.
Fishermen were advised not to venture over eastcentral Arabian Sea till November 4, IMD said.
Under Maha's influence, Lakshadweep was likely to receive extremely heavy rainfall, even as IMD has issued "red message" for the island.
Following the cyclone, the IMD has issued a "red message" for Lakshadweep.
The "red message" technically refers to "take action," meaning the state government machinery has to remain on standby.
Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, S Balachandran said Tamil Nadu and Puducherry received widespread rains in the last 24 hours ended 8.30 am, with Kodanadu in the Nilgiris district recording the highest rainfall of 14 cm, followed by Coonoor (13 cm) in the same district.
About 33 places in the state and the Union Territory received heavy rains while there were very heavy rains in four locations.
In the next 24 hours, heavy rains were likely in most districts of Tamil Nadu, including those along the western ghats, he said.
He advised fishermen against venturing into the sea along Lakshadweep on Thursday and Friday.