Chennai, Dec 12: Rail and flight services here were affected by heavy rain and strong winds that lashed the city and other coastal areas of Tamil Nadu due to cyclone Vardah, officials said.
Around 25 incoming flights, including those from international destinations, were diverted to the nearby Hyderabad and Bangalore airports due to strong winds and poor visibility, airport officials said.
Nearly 25 outbound flights were delayed, officials said, adding that there was no inundation of the runway despite heavy rains. An emergency management team was on standby to meet any eventuality, they said.
The Southern Railway meanwhile, announced suspension of services on the Chennai Beach and Velacherry MRTS route.
Vardha to hit Chennai
Suburban rail services on the MMC-Gummidipoondi line were also suspended until further notice. Some passenger trains coming to Chennai and leaving the city were also diverted.
High velocity winds uprooted trees
Heavy rains today pounded the city and north coastal districts of Tiruvallore and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, inundating low lying areas, while high velocity winds uprooted hundreds of trees as the severe cyclonic storm Vardha reached about 60 kms northeast of Chennai and was likely to make landfall in the next couple of hours.
Severe cyclonic storm
According to the IMD bulletin at noon, by the time Vardha hits the coast, winds with speed of 100-110 kmph to 120 kmph are likely to sweep the region. Squally winds hit Chennai this morning as the very severe cyclonic storm approached Tamil Nadu.
Govt declared holiday
Power supply was suspended in many parts of these regions as a precautionary measure. The rains intensified as the cyclone neared leading to waterlogging in many areas. The Tamil Nadu government had declared holiday for educational institutions in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, besides coastal taluks of Villupuram.