Cyclone Nivar is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours and is centred about 380 km east by southeast of Puducherry and 430 km from Chennai, the Union Home Ministry said on Tuesday.
Sharing the information based on inputs received from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Ministry said the cyclone is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during late Wednesday evening as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph.
"A close watch is being kept over the system," it said.
The Ministry said that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) headquarters and commandants of battalions located at Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are in coordination with the respective state authorities.
In view of the IMD forecast and requirements projected by the state authorities, 22 teams (12 in Tamil Nadu, three in Puducherry and seven in Andhra Pradesh) have been pre-positioned at areas likely to be affected.
Teams have been kept reserve at Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Thrissur (Kerala) and Mundli (Odisha) to meet additional requirements, it said.
All teams have reliable wireless and satellite communications, tree cutters, pole cutters for post landfall restoration, if need arises.
In view of the current Covid-19 scenario, the Ministry said that the NDRF teams are equipped with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
"NDRF is working in close coordination with district and local administrations. Awareness programmes are being conducted for all citizens in the form of information about cyclones, do's and don'ts and information about Covid-19 in affected areas and prevention measures."
All deployed teams are assisting the local administration in evacuation of people from areas that are likely to be affected by the cyclone, said the Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Ministry said, NDRF is spreading a sense of security amongst the communities that teams are available at their service and will remain present in the area until the situation returns to normal, so that the public does not panic.