High alert has been sounded and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been pre positioned as severe cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’ will make a landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andra Pradesh on Monday.
The alert has been sounded across Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu along the coast of Bay of Bengal, official sources said.
One team of NDRF comprising around 40 personnel has been pre-positioned in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore, one in Tada, one in Salurupeta, one in Oongle, and one in Chitpore district.
In addition, another team is moving to Salurupeta while teams are on standby in Guntur and Hyderabad.
Three NDRF teams were pre-positioned in Chennai, two in Tamil Nadu’s in Tiruvalur, one in Mahabalipuram.Sources said another team is on its way to Chennai while one team has been out on stand by at Arakkonam.
The Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai said ‘Vardah’ lay centred at 330 km east of Chennai at 1430 hours on Sunday and would move westwards before making landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts tomorrow afternoon.
Under its impact, rains will start tonight and gradually increase tomorrow in the northern districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram, S Balachandran, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said.
On December 12, heavy to very heavy rains were likely in some places in these districts, he said, adding, strong winds could gust upto 80-90 kph. The sea would be rough, he said and asked fishermen to not to venture into the sea for the next 48 hours.
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam held a meeting of the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority which also asked the armed forces to be on standby.
The Tamil Nadu government has also declared holiday for educational institutions in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, besides coastal taluks of Villupuram.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation through a teleconference with Collectors and top officials this evening. 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.