Cyclone Vardah: NDRF closely monitoring situation, teams on standby

New Delhi [India], Dec. 12 : As the cyclonic storm Vardah is on its way to make landfall in the coastal region of Chennai today, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Director-general R.K.

Pachnanda on Monday said that their teams have been prepositioned at all the major location and is closely monitoring the situation to provide immediate, effective and specialized response.

"NDRF is closely monitoring the situation. We have already prepositioned teams in Andhra Pradesh, one is Nellore, two in Sullurpeta, one in Tada, two in Chittoor, and Ongole.

We have sufficient standbys at Guntur, apart from a permanent team at Visakhapatnam," Director-general R.K.

Pachnanda told ANI. For Tamil Nadu, Pachnanda said that three teams have been placed in Chennai, two in Kanchipuram, two in Tiruvallur and one is on its way to Puducherry.

Apart from that sufficient standby team are reserves at Arakkonam. "We closely in touch with state Government authorities and with other agencies like IMD, so that we have immediate, effective and specialized response," he said.

Puducherry has geared up its official machinery to face the threat of cyclone Vardah, as the state government has declared holiday for all schools and colleges in Puducherry and Karaikal regions in anticipation of heavy rains and wind.

Though it did not rain last night, the sky is cloudy and Port authorities have advised fishermen not to venture into sea as it remains rough.

Chief Minister V Narayanasamy in a special communique last night asked people to stay safe and stock essential items as Met office has forecast heavy rains.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are on high alert as the severe cyclonic storm, Vardah over west central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal moved further nearly west-southwest-wards and lay centred at about 180 km east-northeast of Chennai and 250 km east-southeast of Nellore according to Cyclone Warning Centre in Visakhapatnam.

As the cyclone advances, people have been asked to stay indoors as a precautionary measure. Educational institutions in four districts will remain closed for today. The system is very likely to move nearly westwards and weaken gradually while moving towards north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts.

It is very likely to cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts, close to Chennai as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 80 to 90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph by today afternoon.

About 500 men from Fire Service department are also getting ready to extend their support in rescue and relief operations besides 120 Police Seva Dal members and swimmers who would extend their services.

The Civil Supplies Department has stocked sufficient food reserves in all FP shops. 150 Cyclone shelters and School buildings were readied for providing shelter to the displaced people from low lying areas.

Eastern Naval Command, in preparation for the relief efforts, has assumed high degree of readiness to render necessary assistance.

All operational ships have been readied up and kept standby to undertake Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations including evacuation.

Source: ANI