Cyclone Vardah makes landfall in Chennai

| Updated: Dec 12, 2016 20:58 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Dec. 12 (ANI): Cyclone Vardah has hit the coast making landfall close to Tamil Nadu capital Chennai. The cyclonic storm will take about four hours to cross the land completely. Heavy rain and strong winds are lashing the coast in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The Army, Navy and Air Force have been put on standby to tackle any emergency. All operations have been suspended at the Chennai airport till 3 p.m. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has advised the fishermen not to venture into the sea during the next 36 hours. The Chief Minister, who is monitoring the situation through teleconference with top officials, said that food and other essential commodities have been kept ready in adequate quantities. 22 diving teams have been kept on standby at Visakhapatnam for immediate deployment. As many as 19 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam earlier in the day reviewed the state government's preparation to counter cyclone Vardah. The state government has reportedly evacuated at least 7,357 people to 54 relief centres. The latest bulletin released by the Meteorological Department said 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 district of Andhra Pradesh. (ANI)