Cyclone Vardah heads towards Chennai shores

Cyclonic storm Vardah is likely to make landfall by Monday afternoon along north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast, close to Chennai, accompanied by strong winds with speeds of 80 to 90 kmph.

S. Balachandran, director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre in Chennai, told the media on Sunday the rain would gradually increase from the morning of December 12 and was expected to last until the next day in the northern districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram.

Moderate rain

S.B.Thampi, Deputy Director General of Meteorology said, most places along north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts would get to light to moderate rain with possibilities of heavy rainfall of up to 20 cm as the system makes landfall. "During landfall on Monday, Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Puducherry will get rain and once the system crosses, Vellore and Dharmapuri will begin to get rain," he said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam chaired a meeting in the Secretariat on Sunday to review the preparations by government agencies. Schools and colleges in Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Villupuram and Cuddalore districts have been closed on Monday.

Helplines and first responders ready

"Given that the cyclone is expected to make landfall near Cuddalore, we have identified vulnerable areas there and alerted first-responders from the local community," Satyagopal told IBTimes India, adding: "These first responders will be in touch with their zonal teams, and the whole process will be supervised by a nodal officer."

He also said that dedicated help lines were in place all across the state to respond to any and all calls of distress.

The toll-free helpline in Chennai is 1070, while people all across the state can call 1077 to get in touch with the authorities.

For Chennai:

Fire and rescue services: 9445086046 or 044-28554156
Police: 100 or 044-28447777 / 28447755 / 28447701
District Collectorate: 044-25228025

For Puducherry:

Fire and rescue services: 0413-2336677
Police: 100 or 0413-2334006 / 2231318

For Cuddalore:

Fire and rescue services: 9445086406 or 07
Police: 100 or 04142-284330/295161
District Collectorate: 04142-220700