Very severe cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’, the most intense to have hit the Tamil Nadu capital in two decades, claimed four lives, flattened homes, snapped communication lines and threw into disarray rail, road and air traffic as it crossed the coast, pounding Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram with heavy rain and squall. Thousands of people were evacuated as roaring wind clocking speed of 100 km an hour uprooted trees, tore off hoardings and toppled cars.
Two fishermen were reported missing off the Andhra Pradesh coast in Kakinada and the Coast Guard has deployed ship for search and rescue operations. Though no major loss of life or property has been reported from Andhra Pradesh so far, heavy rains lashed Chittoor and SPS Nellore district, affecting normal life.
Public transport came to a standstill in Chennai with buses and suburban trains suspended and airport shut. Rail, road and air traffic, official sources said, were likely to be restored by tomorrow. Most commercial establishments downed shutters in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts. “After 1994, this is the first very severe cyclonic storm to hit Chennai coast. The storm has completely crossed the coast as expected (this evening),” a senior Met Official said(THE INDIAN EXPRESS,2016).