Cyclone Vardah: South India coast battered, 10 killed

Severe cyclonic storm heads towards Andhra Tamil Nadu coast

At least seven people have been killed and thousands evacuated from coastal areas in two southern Indian states, as Cyclone Vardah lashed Chennai (Madras).

A meeting of telecom operators and officials was held, it said.

Officials in National Disaster Response force said that "the death toll rose to 10 in Tamil Nadu i.e 4 in Chennai, 2 in Kancheepuram, 2 in Tiruvallur, 1 in Villupuram and1 in Nagapattinam".

The Cyclone Vadah has added to the grievances and will be a challenge for the now Chief Minister Panneerselvam as well.

The Tamil Nadu Government has also asked private offices to allow their staff to take a day off or work from home.The heavy rain and strong winds in Chennai uprooted trees. So there will be no more delays in the air traffic.

-Panneerselvam-became-Chief-Minister/article16780281.ece" target="_blank">Pannerselvam said late on Monday night that "restoration of electricity would begin midnight and complete restoration of power supply to all three districts would take one to two days.

An Emirates spokesperson told Khaleej Times that Cyclone Vardah that made landfall close to Chennai coast at a windspeed of up to 140kmph on Monday "has caused diversions and delays of some Emirates flights arriving and departing at Chennai International Airport". More than 10,000 had to be evacuated.

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Steps were being taken to distribute food to them, they said. Mobile phones, landlines and cable networks, however, remained inoperative.

Almost 100 buses were arranged at different stations to facilitate stranded passengers from destinations such as Sholingur and others on the Chennai Egmore-Chengelpet routes to reach Chennai, Southern Railway said.

Trains of the metro rail, mass rapid transit system and suburban services were also affected. This is a vast distance of 174 km. on the way this cyclone has destroyed streets and uprooted several trees along the area.

Almost 20,000 evacuated: The government undertook massive evacuation in low-lying areas and around the shores of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh where Vardah was initially predicted to make landfall.

The cyclone comes about a year after Chennai experienced devastating floods which killed 70 people.

The Gujarat cyclone in 2015 claimed the lives of over 84 people when it hit the western regions of India.

Telecommunication companies could not be contacted for a comment.