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Cyclone Vardah wreaks havoc in Tamil Nadu, Met dept issues further warnings

The Indian Meteorological Department has sent an urgent circular to the chief secretaries of five states - Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana and Tamil Nadu - and the Union Territory of Puducherry, calling on them to take immediate measures to mitigate the impact of Cyclone Vardah.

The cyclone has wreaked havoc on Tamil Nadu, where it made landfall on Monday, and the surrounding states, adjacent to the Bay of Bengal.

While the circular states that the cyclone could reduce in intensity by Tuesday evening, presently, wind speeds could reach up to 140km/h, which would require everyone to stay indoors.

The circular includes the following warnings:

Heavy rainfall: Coastal Andhra Pradesh, North coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will receive heavy rainfall for the next 36 hours, starting from the 11th (which would mean approximately 24 hours more of heavy rainfall in these areas). Districts mentioned that would be severely affected include Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chennai districts of Tamil Nadu and Nellore and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Puducherry has also being warned of heavy rainfall, with high wind speeds.

Wind warning: Cyclone Vardah has already made a major impact on coastal areas in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Wind speeds of over 100 km/h have been recorded in most areas, with the maximum speeds be witnessed in the five districts mentioned above.

Sea conditions: While Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Andhra have all issued warnings to their citizens to stay away from coastal zones for the next 36 hours, the Met department has warned of tidal waves of up to a metre high. The department has also warned that tidal waves will inundate low lying areas in the Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu, and the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. Sea conditions will continue to worsen till Tuesday evening.

Damage: The cyclone is expected to cause damage to thatched huts, damage power and communication lines due to breaking of branches and cause major damage to both kutcha and pucca roads. The storm will also cause severe damage to crops across districts in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

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.

Text by Vishakh Unnikrishnan, Photo Curation by Priyata Brajabasi