India

Cyclone Vardah brings heavy rain with its landfall in Chennai

12 Dec 2016 | By Mansi Motwani

According to the Met Office forecasts, the landfall made by cyclone Vardah in Chennai has gained speed and intensity.

Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the two states on high alert, faced heavy rains.

Tens of thousands of people from coastal areas have been evacuated.

Before Vardah's landfall, waves as high as 20 feet lashed the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

In context: Cyclone Vardah in Chennai

Cyclone Vardah

Cyclone Vardah was formed due to the low pressure in the Northeast of Singapore and has already claimed lives in Thailand. It is also the strongest cyclone since October 2014 when cyclone Hudhud hit Andhra Pradesh and claimed over 100 lives.

12 Dec 2016Cyclone Vardah brings heavy rain with its landfall in Chennai

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The meaning of 'landfall'

InformationThe meaning of 'landfall'

According to the US National Hurricane Center, "A Landfall is the intersection of the center of a tropical cyclone with a coastline."

It is often accompanied by strong winds, lashing rain and rising sea waves that could prove endangering to people and inland properties alike.

As the cyclone goes over land, the area affected by its wind increases, which may further its impact.

Similar weather phenomena

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are same weather phenomena, recognized by different names in different places. 'Hurricane' is used in Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, 'typhoon' in the Northwest Pacific and 'cyclone' in the Southern Pacific and Indian Ocean.

EffortsMeasures taken for Vardah

More than 15 teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are deployed in various coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Each team is equipped with rescue gadgets and boats; the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force are on standby, prepared to be deployed as and when required.

8 rescue boats and 131 swimmers from the Coast Guard are also on standby.

Helpline numbers

Helpline numbers issued by the Chennai Corporation are: 25619511, 25384965, 25383694, 25367823 and 25387570. Grievances can be texted via WhatsApp to: 9445477207/201/202/203/204/205/206
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Dos & Don'tsPrecautions should be taken by civilians

Do not go out and especially do not allow children, disabled and aged people to venture outdoors.

Look for loose concrete items like bricks, tiles, lumber and put them away to prevent them from being tossed around by heavy winds.

Tape strips of paper on windows to avoid shattering by force winds.

Keep electronics charged as power lines might be suspended.

13 Dec 2016Cyclone Vardah kills 12, likely to weaken

12 people lost their lives due to Cyclone Vardah; Chennai seemed to be the worst hit with at least 4 deaths reported from the city.

Deaths were also reported from Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Villupuram and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and two deaths were reported from Chittor in Andhra Pradesh.

Authorities said it is likely to weaken into a depression in the coming hours.

14 Dec 2016Vardah leaves trail of destruction through Chennai

In light of the massive destruction left behind in Chennai after Cyclone Vardah, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam requested the centre to disburse Rs.1000 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund.

However, power and internet services were restored to most parts of the state the next day.

It emerged that an undersea internet cable was damaged by the storm, disrupting services of several networks.

15 Dec 2016ISRO instrumental in saving lives after Vardah

Sources said that 2 ISRO satellites played a crucial role in saving 10,000 lives in Tamil Nadu during Cyclone Vardah.

ISRO's Insat 3DR and ScatSat-1 helped predict the cyclone's movements so authorities could warn people in advance; the predictions helped 10,000 people in Chennai, Thiravallur and Kancheepuram districts.

The satellites were used to track Vardah in Andhra Pradesh as well.

18 Dec 2016Cyclone Vardah leaves Chennai with health concerns

The cyclone Vardah has left more than 44,000 tonnes of garbage, broken trees, branches etc in Chennai which the health officials fear may lead to health hazards.

The Greater Chennai Corporation is worried that it may become a breeding ground for flies and become infectious.

Another prime concern is to remove trees from arterial streets and bus routes to enable free flow of traffic.