18 dead in Tamil Nadu even as Cyclone Vardah weakens

RSTV Bureau
Chennai: A car moves past an uprooted lamp post and tree following a storm in Chennai on Monday. The movement of traffic on several arterial roads including the famous Anna Salai, Grand Southern Trunk road were largely affected while several trees were uprooted as cyclone Vardah made landfall near Chennai coast on Monday. PTI Photo

Chennai: A car moves past an uprooted lamp post and tree following a storm in Chennai on Monday. The movement of traffic on several arterial roads including the famous Anna Salai, Grand Southern Trunk road were largely affected while several trees were uprooted as cyclone Vardah made landfall near Chennai coast on Monday. PTI Photo

A day after Cyclone Vardah ripped through Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, the death toll has risen to 18 in the state.

Government schools, colleges and other educational institutions remained closed on Tuesday but air services to Chennai resumed after they were suspended for an entire day on Monday.

“Flight operations have resumed at Chennai airport today morning,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju tweeted.

The storm was considered to be the most intense one in two decades to have hit Chennai. It snapped communication lines, flattened homes, uprooted trees and threw into disarry rail, road and air traffic on Monday.

Several low-lying areas also reported waterlogging. Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur and Chennai were the worst hit districts in terms of water-logging.

But since Tuesday morning, the rains seem to have let up. Life limped back to being normal.

Chennai: File picture of The Chennai Airport which suspended its operations on Monday due to heavy rains following Cyclone Vardah. PTI Photo

Chennai: File picture of The Chennai Airport which suspended its operations on Monday due to heavy rains following Cyclone Vardah. PTI Photo

Power was restored in most areas of the city, while some still remained in dark due to the damage caused by the storm.

Cyclone Vardah, was described as a “very severe storm” by the Indian Meteorological Department but the damage was minimised as authorities had evacuated tens of thousands of people from low-lying areas. Teams of India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) cleared the fallen trees and poles from roads across Chennai to restore normalcy at the earliest.

Director General of NDRF, R.K. Pachnanda, said three more teams had been rushed to Chennai to step up the operations to clear roads.

Thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas as roaring wind clocking speed of 100 km an hour uprooted trees, tore off hoardings and toppled cars on Monday when it made landfall.
The cyclonic storm is likely to move West-South West and weaken gradually into a depression during next twelve hours.

Bengaluru in neighbouring Karnataka received light showers on Tuesday morning as cyclone Vardah passed through the province.

(With inputs from PTI)