Cyclone Vardah makes landfall in Tamil Nadu, four dead
Thousands evacuated from low-lying areas, as most intense cyclonic storm to have hit Chennai in two decades throws normal life out of gear
The wind uprooted trees like this in Chennai and in other places, and tore hoardings and toppled cars. Pic/AFP
Chennai: Very severe cyclonic storm 'Vardah', the most intense to have hit the Tamil Nadu capital in two decades, claimed four lives, flattened homes, snapped power, communication lines and threw into disarry rail, road and air traffic as it crossed the coast here, pounding Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram with heavy rain and squall yesterday.
Thousands of people were evacuated as roaring wind clocking speed of 100 km an hour uprooted trees, tore off hoardings and toppled cars.
Two fishermen were reported missing off the Andhra Pradesh coast in Kakinada and the Coast Guard has begun search and rescue operations. Though no major loss of life or property has been reported from Andhra Pradesh, heavy rains lashed Chittoor and SPS Nellore district, affecting normal life.
Public transport came to a standstill in Chennai with buses and suburban trains suspended and airport shut. Rail, road and air traffic, official sources said, were likely to be restored today.
"After 1994, this is the first very severe cyclonic storm to hit Chennai coast. The storm has completely crossed the coast as expected (this evening)," a senior Met Official said.
A Home Ministry spokesperson said in Delhi that four people were killed in the storm in Tamil Nadu, while six teams of NDRF and four of SDRF were engaged in rescue efforts.
About 8,000 people from low-lying areas were safely evacuated to 95 relief shelters, officials said. In Andhra Pradesh, over 9,400 people living along the Bay of Bengal were evacuated to relief camps. Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to take stock of the situation in the two states and promised all help.
More than this number of people evacuated from coastal areas
The storm in figures (in TN)
- 37 fallen electricity poles removed in affected areas
- 224 roads were blocked, of which 89 were cleared
- 190 of 226 fallen trees were removed
- 10,754 food packets were distributed to people in low-lying areas, now sheltered in relief centres
Shraddha Kapoor @ShraddhaKapoor':
Terribly sad over the storm that's hit #Chennai. Please ensure your loved ones are around you and please stay safe.
Thoughts with everyone in Chennai.please be safe.stay away from Glass windows-kee
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