Thousands Evacuated as Cyclone Nears Southern India

However, according to the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department, (IMD), Vardha, which is now, a very severe cyclonic storm, will weaken, but only to a severe cyclonic storm.

Union Science and Technology Minister Harshvardhan on Monday said people have to remain cautious over the next 24 to 36 hours as the government counter the "Cyclone Vardha".

The Tamil Nadu government has asked people to stay indoors during the heavy rains, stock adequate food, medicines and drinking water.

Flight operations at the airport in Chennai have been suspended till 5 pm.

According to officials, the landfall would continue for around four hours with rains and strong winds.

The Southern Railway said the cyclone had caused severe impact to its infrastructure and prompted cancellation, diversion and suspension of rail services.

As the surfce winds were so heavy, the electricity department has disconnected power supply in several parts of the city as a precautionary measure. In a statement, he said 260 trees and 37 electric poles had fallen and 190 tress removed. Oil spilled from the tanker.Authorities in Nellore district shifted 9,450 people from low-lying areas to safe places.

Official sources said about 113 ambulances were kept at high alert in Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.

Squally winds hit Chennai this morning as the very severe cyclonic storm approached Tamil Nadu.

Those on two wheelers who continued to drive despite warnings fell on the road due to strong winds.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into sea along and off south Andhra Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts during next two days.

The state government has reportedly evacuated at least 7,357 people to 54 relief centres.

As many as 19 team of National Disaster Response Force (one team comprises of 35 personnel) have been deployed in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to deal with any situation arising out of the cyclone's landfall.

All schools and colleges are closed today.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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