Tens of thousands of people evacuated to shelters on Wednesday to escape a cyclone barreling towards southern India.
According to officials, heavy rains lashed the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu as it braces for Cyclone Nivar.
Rain has already felled trees and flooded much of the state capital, Chennai.
According to India’s meteorological department (IMD), the cyclone is expected to bring winds gusting up to 145 km/h.
All fishing boats advised to return to harbours. Thirty disaster response teams have been deployed across Tamil Nadu.
Moreover, the coast guard has deployed offshore patrol vehicles, helicopters and aircraft for assistance and surveillance.
On the other hand, senior IMD officials further informed tha the cyclone is intensifying and could cause structural damage, uprooting trees and crops, and even destroying thatched and tin-roofed houses when it strikes.
However, people also fear of flooding in Chennai. In Tamil Nadu, the state government has declared a public holiday and advised people to stay indoors. Buses, trains and flights remain suspended.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, saying that he had spoken with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, assuring him of all “possible support” from the federal government.
Earlier in 2015, widespread flooding in Chennai due to heavy rains and overflowing rivers brought the city to a standstill.