Cyclone Vardah, packing wind speed of 90 kmph, to make landfall on Monday; TN, AP on high alert

Both the state governments are on high alert as the cyclonic storm is expected to make landfall on Monday afternoon. 

Cyclone Vardah, packing wind speed of 90 kmph, to make landfall on Monday; TN, AP on high alert

Chennai/Hyderabad: Cyclone Vardah, packing a wind speed of 90 kmph, will make a landfall between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on Monday, the MeT officials said, warning people not to venture too close to the shoreline.

Both the state governments are on high alert as the severe cyclonic storm is expected to make landfall on Monday afternoon.

The Tamil Nadu government has announced a holiday for all educational institutions in four coastal districts of the state.

The Regional Meteorological Centre said Cyclone Vardah lay centred at 330 km east of Chennai at 1430 hours on Sunday.

And it will move westwards before making landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts on Monday afternoon.

The Met officials said rains will start on Sunday night and gradually increase tomorrow in the northern districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram.

Heavy to very heavy rains likely lash these districts on Monday, PTI quoted weather official S Balachandran as saying.

Strong winds could gust upto 80-90 kmph, he added.

Fishermen has been asked not to venture into the sea for the next 48 hours.

Chief Minister O Panneerselvam chaired a review meeting of Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority and asked the armed forces to be on standby.

All educational institutions in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur and coastal taluks of Villupuram will remain closed on Monday.

"They should take necessary steps for ensuring the safety of their students especially hostel inmates and their water and food requirements," the report quoted an official release as saying.

In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the state's preparedness through a teleconference with top officials.

He directed them to be alert and undertake necessary rescue and relief efforts in view of the cyclone threat.

Food and other essential commodities should be kept ready in adequate quantities, he said.

"Take all steps to prevent loss of lives and to minimise damages to crops and properties," Naidu told the officials.

The Tamil Nadu government has also asked private establishments in these districts to allow their staff avail holiday or work from home.

The chief minister has instructed to assign senior IAS officers to monitor cyclone related works in coordination with district collectors, the release said.

"Arrangements to be made for evacuating people in low lying and vulnerable areas.

“Relief centres to be kept in readiness along with necessary food, water and other arrangements.

“Army, Navy, Air-force and Coast Guard have been alerted to be on standby for deployment as and when necessary," it said.

The government has also asked people to stay indoors during the heavy rains, stock adequate food, medicines and drinking water and use them judiciously.

NDRF, SDRF, Fire and Rescue services department personnel have already been pre-positioned and shall be immediately utilised wherever necessary for rescue and relief operations, the official release said.

Teams will be deployed with adequate equipment like power saws and transportation for removing fallen trees and restoring traffic, it said.

Health department has been asked to take measures to organise special camps and to pre-position generators, emergency supplies, medicines and oxygen cylinders in Government hospitals.

All emergency measures have been put in place in Andhra Pradesh, officials said.

Three teams of NDRF personnel have been kept ready in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh as heavy to very heavy rain ranging up to 17 cm is expected tomorrow.

Chittoor and Kadapa districts are also expected to receive very heavy rainfall while Anantapuramu and Prakasam districts too will receive moderate rain.

Four senior IAS officials have been deputed to Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa and Prakasam districts to oversee rescue and relief operations.

Meanwhile, Puducherry government has declared tomorrow a holiday for all educational institutions in Puducherry and Karaikal regions due to heavy rains and squally weather forecast under the impact of cyclone.

Announcing this, Chief Minister V.Narayanasamy said in a release that heavy rains have been forecast coupled with cyclonic storm in the Union Territory tomorrow.

He appealed to the people of Puducherry to stay safe and procure their requirements in advance.

The entire administration has been geared to rise to any exigency and toll free phones 1070 and 1079 can be contacted for any help and emergency, he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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