Cyclone Vardah starts making landfall near Chennai, 2 killed in Tamil Nadu

With the cyclonic storm Vardah set to make landfall between Sriharikota and Chennai, a state of high alert is being maintained in SPS Nellore district.

"As the wind speed is around 50 knots, it is not conducive to operate flights".

The Tamil Nadu government said two persons had lost their lives due to the nature's fury. The state also appealed to those who were outdoors to find a safe place and stay put.

Southern Railway announced cancellation of all 17 trains originating from Chennai central, as well as Egmore.

Shastri said 20 flights were diverted, nine got delayed and five were cancelled.

The winds at landfall on Monday were around 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour), making Vardah equal to a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

"The intensity of the cyclone has had a severe impact on the infrastructure of Chennai Division, resulting in considerable damage". Urgent steps being taken for restoration, officials said.17 trains have been cancelled. Seven army columns on standby.

The tidal waves of about one metre height and above was "very likely" to inundate the low lying areas of Chennai and Tiruvallur districts of Tamil Nadu, it said.

Naval ships, INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt have been deployed to Chennai from Vishakhapatnam with medical teams and relief material on board.

National Disaster Management Authority said that all precautions are taken at nuclear plant Kalpakkam to face Vardah.

People living in Ennore and Palaverkadu were asked to evacuate. The total number of relief centres are 95. In a statement, he said 260 trees and 37 electric poles had fallen and 190 tress removed.

Around 25 incoming flights, including those from worldwide destinations, were diverted to the nearby Hyderabad and Bangalore airports due to strong winds and poor visibility, airport officials said. All educational institutions in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts will remained closed on Tuesday.

  • Aubrey Nash