Odishatv Bureau

Chennai: Severe cyclone 'Nivar' would intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and it is likely to cross the coast between Tamil Nadu and Puducherry before dawn on Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami, meanwhile, declared Thursday a public holiday for 13 districts including Chennai, Vellore, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam,Tiruvarur, Chengelpet and Kancheepuram considering the safety of people in view of the cyclone.

Wednesday has already been declared a holiday.

In its latest bulletin, the IMD said Nivar would cross over betwen Karaikal and Mamallapuram "during the midnight of November 25 and early hours of 26 November."

The storm, 250 km off Chennai and 190 km and 180 km from Puducherry and Cuddalore respectively is very likely to move northwestwards and cross coasts as a "very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph."

Under the influence of the cyclone, coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kariakal regions are likely to receive rainfall on Wednesday at most places with heavy to very heavy showers at a few places and extremely heavy rains at isolated places.

South coastal Andhra Pradesh is also likely to witness showers at most places today.

Rainfall is expected to continue in many places in these regions Thursday too with heavy rainfall at some places.

Surplus water was released from Chembarambakkam lake, one of the key drinking water sources to the city, since it almost neared its capacity, the government said.

PWD officials said 1000 cusecs was released from the lake as the level stood at 22 feet of the total 24 feet.

Chennai and its suburbs, which received heavy overnight rains, continued to witness intermittent showers coupled with strong winds with low-lying areas getting inundated and water entering houses in such localities.

Civic body officials were involved in clearing the roads of stagnant water.

The Tamil Nadu government appealed to people living in coastal districts to not venture out of their homes and requested those living in low lying areas to reach the cyclone shelters in their respective regions.