Cyclone vardah
High waves hit the shore in Chennai on Dec 11, 2016.IANS

Cyclone Vardah, which was earlier expected to weaken but has now turned into a severe cyclonic storm, is likely to make landfall accompanied by strong winds near south Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu coastal areas by Monday afternoon, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The IMD released a statement saying that the speed of the strong winds is around 80 kmph to 90 kmph and that the cyclone will bring along with it heavy to very heavy rainfall. Both the states have been put on high alert.

The Indian Navy, seven Army columns and 19 teams of the NDRF have been put on standby to deal with the after-effects of Cyclone Vardah. People in several districts of both states have been asked to evacuate. Flights have been diverted while trains have been cancelled. Suburban train services have also been suspended until further notice.

Since the IMD had warned about the cyclone days in advance, here is a list of precautions that you can take and helpline numbers you can dial to sail through the cyclonic storm.


  • Do not venture out of the house during heavy rains. Ensure children also stay indoors and are not allowed to go out to play in the water. Also, stay away from windows and doors of your house and move to the upper floors if there is one as they are the safest. You could also use strips of paper tapes and stick them on windows to prevent glass from splintering due to strong winds.
  • Keep a stock of food, medicines and drinking water at home and use them judiciously since shops may be shut for a few days while services, if disrupted, will take time to be restored. Overhead tanks should also be kept filled in case of power disruption due to heavy rains. 
  • Charge emergency lights, inverters, laptops and cell phones and also keep an adequate stock of matches, candles and torches. Phone lines and mobile towers run a high risk of getting damaged. Also keep power banks and back-up of batteries in case gadgets run out of charge.
  • Evacuate and go to relief centres if advised by rescue teams or disaster management officials.
  • Do not use personal vehicles since there's a risk of getting hit by trees or branches.
  • Evacuate temporarily if you reside near water bodies. 
  • Check the house or building you wish to take shelter in. Make sure there are no loose concrete, bricks, tiles, lumber and dangerously-perched water tanks because they run a high risk of getting tossed around by the cyclonic winds resulting in injuries to people.
  • Keep listening to the radio for all the latest news related to the cyclone and any important announcements that may be made by the authorities or the officials.
  • Follow all the precautions that the weather department and government authorities or rescue officials ask you to take. 
  • Do not believe in rumours or spread wrong information. Don't believe every information that people tell you unless verified by a credible or knowledgeable source.

Helpline Numbers:

Chennai Corporation Whatsapp Numbers:

  • 94454 77207
  • 94454 77203
  • 94454 77206
  • 94454 77201
  • 94454 77205

Chennai Corporation Helpline Numbers:

  • 25619206
  • 25619511
  • 25384965
  • 25383694
  • 25367823
  • 25387570