Several Dead, Thousands Evacuated as Cyclone Barrels Towards India
At least seven people have been killed and thousands evacuated from coastal areas in two southern Indian states, as Cyclone Vardah lashed Chennai. Heavy rains accompanied by high winds pounded the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states, uprooting trees and disrupting power lines.
Schools and businesses were closed and airport services suspended, as the cyclone made landfall with heavy rain and winds of up to 85mph.
“We have already moved over 9,400 persons in seven vulnerable mandals (blocks) to safety. All necessary measures have been taken to ensure safety of people,” P Narayana, a minister in the Andhra Pradesh state government, told the Press Trust of India news agency.
The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of Indian Navy deployed two war ships, INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt, to take up relief measures for the victims of cyclone Vardah. These ships are taking additional medical teams, divers, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopter and relief material which include food, tents, clothes, medicines, blankets.
Additional ships have been kept standby to supplement efforts for undertaking Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, should the situation demand.