CHENNAI: Cyclonic storm 'Gaja' continue to spring surprises with the location of where it will make landfall continuing to change as it nears the coast. When everyone thought 'Gaja' was drifting down south, the storm took a U-turn on Tuesday morning and headed northwest, but again travelled west-southwestwards.
A bulletin from Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday night said the storm, moving at a speed of 10 kmph, lay centered over west-central and adjoining east-central and south Bay of Bengal about 600 km east-northeast of Chennai and 720km northeast of Nagapattinam.
"It is likely to move west-southwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours. While moving west-southwestwards further, it is likely to weaken gradually and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore as a cyclonic storm during November 15 afternoon," the bulletin said.
Met officials said rainfall may occur in most places with heavy to very heavy at a few places over Tamil Nadu, including Chennai. Extremely heavy rainfall, in excess of 20cm, at isolated places is likely over Cuddalore, Nagappattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram districts.
Winds may reach a speed of 70-80 kmph and touch 90 kmph over west-central and adjoining east-central and south Bay of Bengal. The gale would gradually sweep at 90-100 kmph and then reach 110 kmph over southwest and adjoining west-central and southeast Bay of Bengal from November 14, IMD said.
Sea is expected to be rough to very rough along the coast of Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry from the morning of November 14. The waves are likely to rise to about one metre and inundate low-lying areas of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu as well as Karaikal at the time of landfall.
Damage was expected in districts of Cuddalore, Nagappattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into central and south Bay of Bengal till November 15.
Coastal hutment dwellers are advised to move to safer places. Other people in the affected areas should remain indoors, the IMD said.
Meanwhile, the remnant of the above system after landfall is likely to emerge as a low-pressure area over the southeast Arabian Sea around November 17. Weather experts say there would be a series of low forming over Bay keeping rest of November month active.