Cyclone Vardah made landfall near Chennai today. It has been categorized as “very severe” cyclone. As of now, 2 people are reportedly dead due to the heavy storm. As many as 9,400 people have been evacuated to the relief camps. Cyclone Vardah is crossing the Bay of Bengal coast at around 80-90 kmph wind speed. Chennai Airport has suspended all air operation till further notice. Chennai Suburban network also suspended till further notice.
Emergency response teams are on Standby with a very high level of preparedness. Two Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt sailed to Chennai for relief efforts as part of Operation Madad.
The Air Force Base at Tambaram near Chennai said that they are prepared for any contingency. 15 teams of the National Disaster Relief Force are at coast for relief work. The Army has seven columns ready for rescue operations if needed.”
Various NDRF teams are working at Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore, Tada, Salurupeta, Oongle, and Chitpore district for rescue and relief. In addition, teams is moving to Salurupeta while teams are on standby in Guntur and Hyderabad. Three NDRF teams are in Chennai, two in Tamil Nadu’s in Tiruvalur, one in Mahabalipuram.
The IMD bulletin released at 1:00 pm indicates that the cyclone intensity will reduce slightly between 1:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. However, rains and wind will increase from 3 p.m. and continue till 6 p.m.
The IMD has also predicted rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, north coastal Tamil Nadu and also at Puducherry during the next 24 hours.
The Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai said that “Vardah lay centered at 330 km east of Chennai at 2.30 pm on Sunday and would move westwards before making landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts tomorrow afternoon.”
The National Disaster Management Authority has cautioned people. It also asked people “to remain in safe places. To cooperate with state government officials and disaster management agencies”.