13 NDRF teams have been deployed for relief-related efforts in both the states.

Cyclone Vardah rapidly approaches TN coast heavy winds and rains lash ChennaiSkymet/ Screengrab
news Cyclone Vardah Monday, December 12, 2016 - 11:38

Cyclone Vardah, which is expected to make landfall north of Chennai on Monday afternoon, continues to strengthen, according to latest updates from the Met department.

In its latest bulletin, the Met department has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated areas.

Cyclone Vardah empties Chennai’s streets, but some commuters have no choice

Till Sunday, the cyclone was expected to weaken as it nears the coast. However, on Monday morning, officials warned that wind speeds could reach even up to 120 kmph when the cyclone reaches the coast.

As a precautionary measure, authorities have stopped electricity distribution in some parts of the city.  

Photos: Heavy winds and rains lash Chennai, as city braces for landfall of Cyclone Vardah

The storm is likely to affect the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh – the Nellore and Prakasam districts – and the northern coast of Tamil Nadu – spanning Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts. 

Conditions at sea are very rough, categorised as “high to phenomenal” by the Met Department, and fishermen have been advised not to venture out to sea since Saturday.

Low lying areas of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts in Tamil Nadu and Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh are expected to inundate once the cyclone makes landfall as a result of tidal waves.

Coastal areas of both states have been evacuated around the expected site of landfall.

The coastal areas of both states have been receiving rainfall since Sunday night, and wind speeds in Chennai have reached 75 kmph. 100 mm of rainfall have been recorded in the city since Monday morning.

25 flights have been diverted, nine have been delayed and five have been cancelled, thus far from Chennai.

An airport official said that at this windspeeds, flights cannot take off and land in the Chennai Airport. 

The Tamil Nadu state government on Sunday issued an advisory, in which it asked people to stay indoors and not allow children to venture out, to swim or play in water bodies.

13 NDRF teams have been deployed for relief-related efforts in both the states. 

The Eastern Naval Command has also made extensive preparations for rescue and relief efforts.