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Cyclone Vardah's effect on Chennai

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Districts mentioned that would be severely affected include Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chennai districts of Tamil Nadu and Nellore and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh.

As cyclone Vardah prepares to hit coastal Tamil Nadu on Monday afternoon around north of Chennai, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has put on standby 15 teams that will spring into action, should the cyclone cause havoc, upon landfall.

On the number of people now housed in relief centres, he said more than 13,000 people are being sheltered in over 100 centres.

Civic workers used hand-held battery-operated wood cutters to remove hundreds of uprooted trees lying on the roads.

Eighteen people were killed in six districts of Tamil Nadu in rain-related incidents linked to Cyclone Vardah that crossed the coast, as Chief Minister O Panneerselvam held a meeting of top officials today to speed up work to ensure return of normalcy in storm-hit regions.

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Authorities on Monday warned residents living along the coastal areas of northern Sri Lanka to be cautious due to heavy winds and rains as Vardah was moving away from the island nation towards southern India.

Flights at Chennai airport were delayed or cancelled. Tada, Sullurpeta, Naidupeta and other parts of Nellore districts were also receiving heavy rains.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall (between seven and 19 centimetres were expected) at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall of over 20 cms were "very likely" over Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.

Apart from the above warnings, the department has also advised people not to venture into the sea along south Andhra Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts for the next 48 hours.

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