CYCLONIC STORM “VARDAH’ MAKES ITS LANDFALL IN CHENNAI,HEAVY RAINS POUNDS COASTAL DISTRICTS OF TAMIL NADU
Heavy rains pounded the city and north coastal districts of Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, inundating low lying areas, while high velocity winds uprooted hundreds of trees as the severe cyclonic storm Vardah was making its landfall in Chennai on Monday afternoon
According to the IMD bulletin at noon, by the time Vardah hits the coast between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. , winds with speed of 100-110 kmph to 120 kmph are likely to sweep the region.
Squally winds hit Chennai on Monday morning as the very severe cyclonic storm approached Tamil Nadu. Power supply was suspended in many parts of these regions as a precautionary measure.
The rains intensified as the cyclone was making landfall, leading to waterlogging in many areas.
The Tamil Nadu government had declared holiday for educational institutions in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, besides coastal taluks of Villupuram.
Railway and flight services in Chennai have been affected, officials said.
Around 25 incoming flights, including those from international destinations, were diverted to the nearby Hyderabad and Bangalore airports due to strong winds and poor visibility, airport officials said.
Nearly 25 outbound flights were delayed, officials said, adding that there was no inundation of the runway.
An emergency management team was on standby to meet any eventuality, they said.
The Southern Railways, meanwhile, announced suspension of services between the Chennai Beach and Velachery MRTS route.
Similarly, suburban rail services on the MMC-Gummidipoondi line were also suspended until further notice. Some passenger trains coming to Chennai and leaving the city were also diverted.
Over 15 teams of NDRF have been deployed in various coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh which are on high alert due to the approaching cyclonic storm.
The armed forces have been asked to be on standby with the Army, the Navy and the Air Force prepared to be deployed anytime as and when required.
People in low-lying areas have been asked to move to safer zones.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief R.K. Pachnanda said while eight teams are ready in various areas of Tamil Nadu, seven are in Andhra Pradesh, apart from few others in nearby locations.
“Some more teams are on alert in Arrakonam and Guntur and they can be transported immediately in case they are required.
We are in constant touch with the two State governments, the Indian Meteorological Department and other relief agencies,” the NDRF Director General told PTI.