Cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’ has hit southeast Bay of Bengal in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is expected to further intensify into a severe cyclone, said skymetweather. The storm is likely to make a landfall in Andhra Pradesh coast on December 12 between Nellore and Kakinada, it added. Light to moderate rainfall is expected at many places over coastal Andhra Pradesh from December 11 evening.

The Meteorological Department said Tamil Nadu and Puducherry would receive heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours. It said the depression over southeast Bay of Bengal had concentrated into a deep depression. Andaman and Nicobar Islands will continue to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall for the next few days. Around 1,400 tourists are stranded in the region because of bad weather conditions.

Indian Navy on Thursday morning said ships were on stand by at Port Blair, however rescue operations were halted. Evacuation will commence after weather improves, the Navy added.