Cyclone Vardah: Harshvardhan calls for caution over 36 hours

| Updated: Dec 12, 2016 21:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec. 12 (ANI): Union Science and Technology Minister Harshvardhan on Monday said people have to remain cautious over the next 24 to 36 hours as the government counter the 'Cyclone Vardha'. "We have to remain cautious and ensure that we are vigilant for the next 24 to 36 hours," he said adding that the Centre and Tamil Nadu government, besides related agencies, are on alert. Harshvardhan added that the storm is likely to strike off the Chennai coast and will affect the northern parts of Tamil Nadu (Thiruvellur district), and the southern portion of Andhra Pradesh (Nellore district) with a wind speed of 110 kilometres per hour between 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. "Minor damages like the breaking of trees may occur. We would advise the people, especially, the fishermen to stop their work near the shore for the next 24 to 36 hours," he said, adding that people near coastal areas should be shifted to safer places. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Monday reviewed the state government's preparation to counter 'Cyclone Vardah'. The chief minister also requested the people not to venture out of their houses between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The state government has reportedly evacuated at least 7357 people to 54 relief centres. 'Cyclone Vardah' is centered over west central and adjoining Southewest Bay of Bengal at about 180 km east north east of Chennai and 250 km east southeast of Nellore. The latest bulletin released by the meteorological department says the cyclone is likely to move west wards and weaken gradually while moving towards north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra coast and is likely to cross the coasts, close to Chennai as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 80 to 90 kmph to 100 kmph by this afternoon. At the time of the landfall, squally wind warning has been predicted for Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh. (ANI)