At least 18 people have died in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu since Cyclone Vardah made landfall near Chennai on Monday, the state government said on Tuesday. Rescue and relief operations are on, with the Indian Navy’s INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt anchored at Chennai with aid for those affected by the storm, ANI reported.
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the release of Rs 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund for “relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction measures”. He also requested for a team to “study the extent of damages caused by the cyclonic storm”. Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh has taken stock of the situation.
Office-goers were seen queuing up at bus stops and railway stations as a few public transport services resumed operations, The Hindu reported. Earlier on Tuesday, the Met Department had said that the storm will weaken as it hits Karnataka on Tuesday and South Goa on Wednesday, skymetweather reported.
Internet service providers have claimed that the storm had affected undersea cables, leading to slow speeds. They are sent out alerts to users, warning them that it may time a while before services are restored back to normal, according to NDTV.
Moreover, over 1,531 trees have been cleared across the city, and power is being restored to affected areas, the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency said. Thousands of trees have been uprooted, low-lying areas are flooded and several telephone and power cables have snapped, officials said.
Thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas before the storm hit the southeast coast. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government had announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh to next of kin of those killed.
The government, in its advisory, has asked people to stay indoors till Tuesday night. Defence forces, authorities from the coastguard as well as personnel of the National Disaster Response Force and its counterpart in the state have been kept on standby.
Helpline numbers in Tamil Nadu
Chennai Corporation WhatsApp: - 94454 77207, 94454 77203, 94454 77206 , 94454 77201, 94454 77205
Chennai Corporation: 25619206, 25619511 , 25384965 ,25383694, 25367823, 25387570
Puducherry: 1077, 1070
Cuddalore: 1077, 04142 220700, 231666