As Chennai woke up, a day after Cyclone Vardah unleashed its fury on the city, people were greeted with sights of trees of all sizes uprooted, blocking roads and damaging properties. The damage to the flora has been immense with 3384 trees uprooted in the storm.
The Meteorological Department on Tuesday stated the system has further weakened from a deep depression over north Tamil Nadu into a depression. In a bulletin issued at 8:30am, IMD said the depression lay centred over north interior Tamil Nadu, about 50km west of Tirupattur and 40km north of Dharmapuri.
The met department forecast that the system is likely to move west-southwestwards and weaken gradually into a well-marked low pressure area over the next six hours. It also warned of rainfall at many places with isolated heavy falls over north Tamil Nadu and adjoining areas of south interior Karnataka over the next 12 hours
Cyclone Vardah, graded a very severe cyclonic storm, crossed the coast near Chennai between 3pm and 5pm on Monday. The city witnessed strong winds gusting upto 140kmph, while Chennai recorded more than 10cms of rainfall.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday night said 4 people were killed in the cyclone, 2 in Chennai, 1 in Kanchipuram and 1 in Nagapattinam, while 10,432 people were evacuated to cyclone shelters.
All schools and colleges in the districts of Chennai, Kanchipuram, and Tiruvallur will remain closed on Tuesday. 3400 electric poles had fallen in the strong winds while 30 transformers suffered, according to information released by the state government on Monday evening.
Power continues to be down in a number of localities in Chennai as officials work to restore transformers and electric poles that suffered damage in the rains. Telephone and mobile connectivity also remain down in a number of areas.
Chennaiās airport that had suspended operations on Monday for nearly a day, opened at 5:45am on Tuesday, said G Chandramouli, airport director. He also said that flight services began at 8:15am with 39 aircrafts taking-off and landing.
With several overhead electric lines damaged in Cyclone Vardah, train services continued to be disrupted on Tuesday. A number of trains from Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore were cancelled by Southern Railways while some were diverted.
Chennaiās suburban rail services is operating a skeletal service, with the Moore Market- Arakkonam/Sulurpettah line operating from 6:05am. However, in a bulletin released, rail officials noted that suburban services to MRTS and Chennai Beach-Tambaram could resume only after power supply is restored to Chintadripet and Tambaram power stations.
MTC buses have, however, saved the day for a number of commuters operating services on Tuesday. Traffic too was largely normal in Chennai.