Severe cyclonic storm 'Vardah' will make a landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andra Pradesh tomorrow, as both the coastal states have put in place a number of measures to deal with it even as TN announced holiday for all educational institutions in four districts. The Regional Meteorological Centre said 'Vardah' lay centred at 330 km east of Chennai at 1430 hours on Sunday and would move westwards before making landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts tomorrow afternoon. Under its impact, rains will start tonight and gradually increase tomorrow in the northern districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram, S Balachandran, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said. On December 12, heavy to very heavy rains were likely in some places in these districts, he said, adding, strong winds could gust upto 80-90 kph. The sea would be rough, he said and asked fishermen to not to venture into the sea for the next 48 hours. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam held a meeting of the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority which also asked the armed forces to be on standby. The Tamil Nadu government declared holiday for educational institutions in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, besides coastal taluks of Villupuram. "They should take necessary steps for ensuring the safety of their students especially hostel inmates and their water and food requirements," an official release, detailing the discussions the Chief Minister had with his senior officials including Chief Secretary B Ramamohana Rao, said. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation through a teleconference with Collectors and top officials this evening. He directed them to be alert and undertake necessary rescue and relief efforts in view of the cyclone threat. Food and other essential commodities should be kept ready in adequate quantities, he said. "Take all steps to prevent loss of lives and to minimise damages to crops and properties," Naidu told the officials. Tamil Nadu Government also asked private establishments and undertakings in these districts besides coastal taluks of Villupuram to allow their staff avail holiday or work from home. Panneerselvam gave instructions for appointment of senior IAS officers as monitoring officers for these districts to oversee and monitor cyclone related works in coordination with the District Collectors, the release said. "Arrangements to be made for evacuating people in low lying and vulnerable areas.
Relief centres to be kept in readiness along with necessary food, water and other arrangements. Army, Navy, Air-force and Coast Guard have been alerted to be on standby for deployment as and when necessary," it said.
The Tamil Nadu government has asked people to stay indoors during the heavy rains, stock adequate food, medicines and drinking water at home and use them judiciously. NDRF, SDRF, Fire and Rescue services department personnel have already been pre-positioned and shall be immediately utilised wherever necessary for rescue and relief operations, the release said. Teams will be deployed with adequate equipment like power saws and transportation for removing fallen trees and restoring traffic, it said. Health department has been asked to take measures to organise special camps and to pre-position generators, emergency supplies, medicines and oxygen cylinders in Government hospitals. All emergency measures have been put in place in Andhra Pradesh, officials said. Three teams of NDRF personnel have been kept ready in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh as heavy to very heavy rain ranging up to 17 cm is expected tomorrow. Chittoor and Kadapa districts are also expected to receive very heavy rainfall while Anantapuramu and Prakasam districts too will receive moderate rain. Four senior IAS officials have been deputed to Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa and Prakasam districts to oversee rescue and relief operations.
(REOPENS MDS18) Meanwhile, Puducherry government has declared tomorrow a holiday for all educational institutions in Puducherry and Karaikal regions due to heavy rains and squally weather forecast under the impact of cyclone. Announcing this, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said in a release that heavy rains have been forecast coupled with cyclonic storm in the Union Territory tomorrow. He appealed to the people of Puducherry to stay safe and procure their requirements in advance. The entire administration has been geared to rise to any exigency and toll free phones 1070 and 1079 can be contacted for any help and emergency, he said.