Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are expected to be hit by severe cyclonic storm, Vardah on Monday. Centering about 440 kms east of Chennai, the storm is expected to move towards Chennai by Monday afternoon. Currently experiencing large amount of rainfall, the state of Tamil Nadu has been under alert for about ten days regarding the possibility of being struck by a cyclone. Fishermen along the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have been asked not venture out into the sea since November 30.
In Chennai, the emergency number is: Control Rooms of Police (100/103) and GCC (044-25619206/9445477206)
Andhra Pradesh: 0866-2488000
What is cyclone Vardah?
Originating in Southern Thailand, cyclone Vardah is a large scale air mass that had led to the death of about a dozen people there, before crawling towards India. In the past few days, the disturbances ensued in the islands of Andaman and Nicobar resulting in several tourists getting stranded there.
It had been moving away from the islands towards the coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh with a speed of 4 km per hour, that strengthened over time. Very rough sea conditions are expected in Tamil Nadu on Sunday night.
What areas are expected to be affected?
The main areas to be hit by the storm are Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) at Chennai said the storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall in northern coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, including the capital city. Southern Andhra Pradesh is also expected to receive heavy showers. Wind speed would be in the order of 40-50 kph.
As per the IMD, the storm is expected to cause damage to thatched huts, power and communication lines. The damage may also be caused to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards in Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu; Ongole and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry, the IMD said in its advisory.
What are the precautionary measures being taken?
Measures are being taken to reduce the impact of the storm as far as possible. TN State Disaster Management Authority met under chairmanship of CM O. Panneerselvam to review preparedness for the impending cyclone. The chief minister has issued instructions regarding evacuation of people in low lying and vulnerable areas. Reportedly, all educational institutions in Thiruvalluvar and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu would remain closed on Monday.
It also urged fishermen in Tamil Nadu, Puduchery and Andhra Pradesh coasts to keep away from the seas for the next 48 hours. Rescuers from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have already been deployed in Chennai, Tiruvallore, Kancheepuram, Nellore, Sulurpeta, Parkasham and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation through a teleconference with Collectors of these districts and top officials this evening. He directed them to be alert and undertake necessary rescue and relief efforts in view of the cyclone threat. Food and other essential commodities should be kept ready in adequate quantities, he said. “Take all steps to prevent loss of lives and to minimise damages to crops and properties,” the Chief Minister told the officials. Four senior IAS officials have been deputed to Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa and Prakasam districts to oversee rescue and relief operations.