Cyclone hits Tamil Nadu: 4 killed; Chennai airport services suspended; over 8000 evacuated!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
December month seems to bring bad time and even horrors for Tamil Nadu. Last year about this time giant floods ransacked the Chennai city and many other coastal towns .that had resulted in destructions, evacuations, dislocations, and deaths. It took months for Chennai to return to normalcy as many houses were in flood water.
Very soon after the loss of their beloved leader TN Chief minister Jayalalithaa, who and her ruling AIADMK party had recently won a historic win in state assembly poll, in an abrupt manner, Tamil people are attacked by a fast track cyclone, causing havoc..
Four persons were killed so far as heavy rains accompanied by high velocity winds pounded the city and coastal districts of north Tamil Nadu on December 12 Monday due to severe cyclonic storm called “Vardah” which began making landfall near Chennai, disrupting land and air transport and throwing normal life out of gear. “The landfall process of cyclone Vardah has begun,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. According to M Mohapatra, Additional Director General (Services) of IMD, the “eye” of the Cyclone is 20 kms off Chennai.
Thousands of people were evacuated from the low-lying areas, as the cyclone made a landfall near Chennai. Chennai airport services suspended at least till 9 pm; 4 killed in Tamil Nadu, over 8000 evacuated.
Over 9,400 people living along the Bay of Bengal coast in SPS Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh were evacuated to relief camps amid heavy rains due to the influence of severe cyclonic storm Vardah.
Over 15 teams of NDRF have been deployed in various coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh which are on high alert due to the approaching cyclonic storm. Eight fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu were rescued from the sea near the Sriharikota High Altitude Range while search was on for ten more persons feared trapped at sea.
The armed forces have been asked to be on standby with the army, navy and air force prepared to be deployed anytime as and when required.
The coastal zones are under panic and TN government and CM Paneerselvam, Radio and TV channels alert the people about the latest position and possible future effects and warn them not to go the beach..
However, the human deaths and other casualties are less than that happened last year thanks to preparedness of Tamil Nadu government to face such natural calamities. Last year’s tragedy in Chennai taught lessons to Tamil Nadu to be very cautious and this time the government was quick to react and take appropriate measures to bring the impact lesser felt and under control