Cyclone Vardah: Rajnath reviews situation in Andhra, TN; assures help

Judith QuinnDec 13, 2016

The Regional Meteorological Centre said Vardah lay centred at 330 kilometres east of Chennai at 14:30 hours on Sunday and would move westwards before making landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts Tuesday afternoon.

Eight fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu were rescued from the sea near the Sriharikota High Altitude Range while search was on for ten more persons feared trapped at sea.

Airlines Spokesman Deepal Perera said that since flight operations at Chennai International Airport have been suspended due to severe weather, SriLankan Airlines had cancelled all its flights till Tuesday morning.

It poured in torrents since this morning and was accompanied by squally winds, which has uprooted several number of trees in the Chennai city and suburbs.

The Southern Railway said the cyclone had caused severe impact to its infrastructure and prompted cancellation, diversion and suspension of rail services. As of 1.30pm, 260 trees had fallen and 190 had been removed.

About 8,000 people from low-lying areas in north Chennai, Pazhaverkadu in Tiruvallur district and villages off Mamallapuram, in Kancheepuram district were safely evacuated to 95 relief shelters, officials said.

Meanwhile, strong winds ravaged the city, felling trees.

The rainfall intensity would increase gradually, becoming heavy to very heavy rainfall (7-19 cm) at a few places, and isolated extremely heavy rainfall (less than equal to 20 cm) over Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Nellore and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh on Monday. Tada, Sullurpeta, Naidupeta and other parts of Nellore districts were also receiving heavy rains.

The wind speed of cyclone Vardah reached 110-120 kmph as the landfall process began.

All schools and colleges are closed today.

India's labor department has also issued an advisory instructing companies to allow employees to work from home.

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