India: Cyclone ‘Vardah’ batters Tamil Nadu

The Severe cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’ made landfall near Chennai, the capital city of South Indian State of Tamil Nadu with winds around 140kmph for about 90 minutes during the afternoon of 12th December 2016, until it crossed the city and travelled inland, bringing at least 10 cm rainfall and claiming 10 lives. According to the recent weather forecast, light to moderate rainfall will occur in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Villupuram districts of Tamil Nadu in the next 12 hours.

At least 10 people, including a 3-year-old child and four women died in separate rain-related incidents in Chennai city. Skymet Weather chief meteorologist said, “Vardah did not weaken significantly as expected. The very severe cyclonic storm was still a severe cyclonic storm when it made landfall at north of Chennai.” Many arterial roads were blocked with fallen trees causing traffic havoc. Several houses were destroyed, especially in coastal parts like Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Foreshore Estate and Royapuram. Several incidents of wall collapse were reported across the city1.  The cyclone has caused severe destruction by uprooting trees, damaging houses, disrupting power services, land and air transport and throwing normal life out of gear.