Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are bracing up for Cyclone Nilam which is likely to make a landfall at around 5-30 pm on Wednesday.
Reports said the administration in the areas where the cyclone is likely to hit has made preparations to deal with the situation though no major report of evacuation was reported.
However, schools and colleges and other institutions were declared closed in many areas.
The Met office has warned of widespread destruction of hutments and asked every to remain indoor in the areas where the cyclone is likely to strike.
According to the Meteorological Department, the cyclone will cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Cuddalore and Nellore, near Chennai.
The Met office said the cyclonic storm moved northwestwards and lay centred at 0830 hours IST of Wednesday, near latitude 11.0 N and longitude 81.0E, about 260 km south-southeast of Chennai and 300 km north of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka).
"The system would intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm and move northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu & adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Puducherry and Nellore, close to Chennai by evening," said the MET office warning.
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25 cm or more) would occur over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during next 24 hrs, the MET office said on Wednesday morning.
Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would also
occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north interior Tamil Nadu during next 48 hrs.
Gale wind speed reaching 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next 24 hours. Sea condition will be high to very high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next 24 hours.
Met office said the storm surge of about 1 -1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low lying areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram & Tiruvallur of Tamil Nadu and Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
Damage is expected as cyclone approaches near the coast.
Extensive damage to thatched roofs and huts is feared while minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees could occur.
The Met office suggested fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts not to venture into the sea during next 48 hrs.
Total suspension of fishing operations was announced. Coastal hutment dwellers were asked to move to safer places. People in affected areas were asked to remain indoors.
The system is under constant surveillance and the concerned state governments are being warned, said the Met office.