Extreme cyclonic storm “Vardah” will make a landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andra Pradesh soon, as both the costal states have set up various measures to manage it. Tamil Nadu ordered all the educational institutes to remain shut in four districts prone to large impact.
Many flights arriving to Chennai and flying out of the city were cancelled or delayed this morning because of heavy rainfall and strong winds along the state’s coast.
Both the Navy and the National Disaster Response Force are on standby in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring state Andhra Pradesh which are on high alert.
Cyclone Vardah is likely to hit land near Pulicat, around 60 km from Chennai, with wind speeds of around 80 to 100 km an hour.
The storm was earlier believed to weaken but the Met office struck out the chances later.
Flight operations were hit at Chennai airport as 15 flights were cancelled, 25 flights were diverted and 9 incoming flights delayed.
Power supply was also suspended in many parts of these regions for precautionary measure.
The Met department said the sea will be rough along and off the Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu coasts. The fishermen were advised to avoid the sea for the next 48 hours. People located in low-lying areas were asked to move to safer zones even as various government departments prepare to deal with a possible crisis.
According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department, (IMD), Vardah, which is currently, a very severe cyclonic storm, will weaken, but only to a severe cyclonic storm. At 9:30 am, the cyclone was lay centered around 105 kms east-northeast of Chennai. By the time it makes a landfall, its wind speed is expected to be 100-110 kmph with winds gusting up to 120 kmph.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who took over the charge last week after Jayalalithaa’s death, held a meeting with the State Disaster Management Authority.
Later a statement from the chief minister’s office was made :
“Arrangements to be made for evacuating people in low lying and vulnerable areas. Relief centres to be kept in readiness along with necessary food, water and other arrangements. Army, Navy, Air-force and Coast Guard have been alerted to be on standby for deployment as and when necessary.”
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also overviewed the situation in a teleconference with top officials on Sunday evening. Food and other essential commodities have been kept ready in adequate quantities, he said.