A man walks along a street covered with debris and fallen trees in Chennai as Cyclone Vardah made landfall on Sunday.(AFP Photo)
A man walks along a street covered with debris and fallen trees in Chennai as Cyclone Vardah made landfall on Sunday.(AFP Photo)

As it happened | Day after Cyclone Vardah, TN and Andhra limp back to normalcy

A day after Cyclone ‘Vardah’ barrelled through parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the coastal towns of the states are limping back to normalcy with officials monitoring the rescue and rehabilitation operations closely.
By KV Lakshmana, Srinivasa Rao Apparasu | Hindustan Times, Chennai, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2016 05:39 PM IST

A day after Cyclone ‘Vardah’ barrelled through parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the coastal towns of the states are limping back to normalcy with officials monitoring the rescue and rehabilitation operations closely.

Chennai, the worst-hit city, presented a scene of devastation with thousands of uprooted trees, broken billboards and snapped telephone and power cables besides low-lying areas reporting waterlogging.

At least 20 people were killed in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as the ‘very severe’ cyclone ripped through India’s southeast coast.

The cyclonic storm is likely to weaken into a depression in the coming hours but wind speed may hover around the 70 km/hour mark, the director of the Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai S Stella told IANS.

Read | Day after Cyclone Vardah: Chennai residents say ‘December curse’ has struck again

Officials said the Cyclone Vardah – meaning red rose – was the most intense storm to have hit Chennai in two decades and packed windspeed of upto 140 kmph at its peak.

Though the Chennai airport was re-opened for traffic on Tuesday, the Tamil Nadu government ordered all educational institutions be kept shut for the second day in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts.

Take a look at how the day after landfall panned out

5:35 pm: Death toll rises to 20.

3:00 pm: Home minister Rajnath Singh holds meeting to take stock of relief operations

2.45 pm: The fifth and final test match between India and England will start as per schedule on December 16 at Chepauk stadium in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu Cricket Association secretary Kashi Viswanathan said that although centre strip and the outfield have not been affected by the cyclone, the sight screen has been badly damaged, the bulbs of the floodlights blown off, a number of air-conditioners also got damaged and those need to be set in order in the next two days.

“The assuring part is that the pitch and the outfield has not been affected by the cyclone. Our challenge is to set everything in order in the next two days. I am confident we will be able to set everything right,” Viswanthan told PTI on Tuesday.

2.10 pm: INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt entered Chennai harbour this morning and are offloading relief material.

2.00 pm: Flight services at Chennai airport have resumed as cyclone-hit Chennai limps back to normal. Tamil Nadu’s state disaster management cell reports that Anna Salai, Kamarajar Salai, Poonamallee High road, Rajaji Salai, RK Salai, Sardar Patel Road and Lalbahadur Sastri Road have been cleared of fallen trees.

“Trees have fallen in many places of Cyclone Vardah-affected districts. We are working continuously to clear,” they say.

12.30 pm: Expect heavy rains in north Tamil Nadu, neighbouring districts in Karnataka and north Kerala over the next 12 hours, says NDMA. They have classified the storm as a “well-marked low pressure area” over Tamil Nadu.

12.00 pm: NDMA issues a list of dos and don’ts in the wake of the storm.

11:20 am: Southern Railway said skeletal services resumed in the MMC, Sulurpettah/Arakkonam section while those on the busy Tambaram-Chengalpattu route were yet to begin operations, PTI reports.

10.40 am: Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has instructed the revenue, police, State Disaster Response Force and other departments not to lower their guard against the cyclone, a statement said.

“Steps should be taken to prevent breaches to tanks and help in effectively dealing with the situation arising from floods, if any. All the necessary relief and rehabilitation measures in Chittoor and Nellore districts are underway,” the chief minister’s office tweeted.

10.00 am: Flight operations resume at Tirupati Airport after it was temporarily suspended on Monday.

9.00 am: Cyclone Vardah forms a deep depression over the interior regions of north Tamil Nadu and it will weaken in the next six hours, says NDMA. Rainfall is expected in south Karnataka over the next 12 hours.

8.50 am: At least two persons were killed in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh, which received heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours. As the eye of the storm crossed the coast late on Monday, Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa districts received heavy rainfall along with gale winds with a speed of 60-80 km/hour, uprooting trees and electric poles.

Two deaths were reported in Chittoor town as they came in touch with live wires of electric poles which got uprooted due to heavy winds.

8.40 am: National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are conducting relief and rescue operations in storm-hit areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra. DG NDRF RK Pachnanda says that the situation is being closely monitored and that teams are working as quickly as possible to restore normalcy.

Read | NDRF teams were ready for Vardah impact; fallen trees, poles being cleared: DG

8.20 am: First signs of the storm in Bengaluru as the city witnesses light showers.

7.15 am: The National Disaster Management Authority reports that ten people have been killed in Tamil Nadu: four in Chennai, two in Kanchipuram, one in Villupuram and one in Nagapattinam.

7.10 am: Chennai airport is operational again after services were temporarily suspended on Monday morning as Cyclone Vardah made landfall.

Government and private schools,colleges and other educational institutions in Chennai,Kanchipuram & Tiruvallur to remain closed today, reports ANI.

Read | Cyclone Vardah makes landfall: Four killed in Tamil Nadu, life thrown off gear

(With inputs from agencies)

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