Cyclone 'Vardah' hit the Tamil Nadu capital on 12 December, 2016. It was the most severe in two decades, that claimed at least 10 lives, flattened homes to the ground, disabled communication lines and brought the transport system to a halt on Monday, as it crossed Chennai's coast with heavy rain and storm.
Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts were struck with heavy rain. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was on the move to control the havoc. Thousands of people were evacuated.
Chennaities woke up to uprooted trees, big broken branches blocking the roads, fallen name boards, hoardings, damaged compound walls and vehicles under fallen trees, power cut and lack of milk supplies on Tuesday, a day after severe cyclone Vardah ripped through the city.Chennai’s green cover faced a considerable loss as thousands of trees were uprooted by the cyclone.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam in a statement said three persons were killed and around 4,000 trees were uprooted in the city.Chennai has recorded second highest rainfall in the last ten years. Vardah has vacated the region and is presently seen over Interior Tamil Nadu, north of Dharmapuri. It will continue to move in west-southwest directions towards South Interior Karnataka, according to Sky Met Weather.
The cyclonic storm Vardah made landfall near Chennai resulting in heavy rainfall which left the city drenched. But most people, aware of the nature's fury, remained indoors, leaving the roads across the city virtually deserted.
The windows of Hotel Hyatt were ripped apart by the powerful winds of Cyclone Vardha. Heavy winds tore the panels apart leaving the building looking like an underconstruction concrete tower.
— DAILY ONION (@dailyonion) December 12, 2016
Gusty winds and heavy rains transform the residential localities into islands and mobile phone signals were affected severely due to the cyclone.
Not only uprooting of trees, the winds brought down overhead cables and electricity poles. Some trees fell collapsed on parked vehicles, damaging them.
The Chennai Airport was non-operational and no flight on Monday landed or took off from Chennai Airport as airmen were issued a notice of the severe cyclonic storm.
"As the wind speed is around 50 knots, it is not conducive to operate the flights," Chennai Airport Director Deepak Shastri told IANS.
A total of 25 Chennai bound flights were diverted, nine got delayed and five were cancelled. The incoming flights were diverted to Bengaluru or Coimbatore.
Passengers who reached Chennai by trains just before the cyclone hit faced huge problems reaching their destinations due to the fewer number of buses and autorickshaws on the roads.
Amidst the destruction caused by the cyclonic storm, the Chennai toll gate collapsed.
Volunteers and residents came together and reached out to the stranded.
The Indian Army troops were deployed for releif and rescue operations.The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had kept ready eight flood rescue teams comprising more than 250 members. Equipped with 23 inflatable rubber boats and communication equipment, these had been pre-positioned in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh. Eleven flood rescue teams comprising 428 rescuers, equipped with 48 inflatable rubber boats and communication equipment have been pre-positioned in low-lying parts of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu government said over 7,350 people were shifted to 54 relief camps set up in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur and Villupuram districts.
As Cyclone pounded Tamil Nadu, Banaglore recieved thunder, lightning and rains on Monday.Meteorologists predict more rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.The Tamil Nadu government declared a holiday for all government, government-aided private schools, colleges and other educational institutions in the affected areas. All educational institutions in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts will remained closed on Tuesday.It has told the private sector to allow their workers to avail a holiday or work from home.Meanwhile shops and hotels opened their shutters in the morning as usual. Some hotels refused to accept debit/credit cards for payment saying the point-of-sale terminals were not working.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2016 14:32:45 IST