( December 12, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) All flights scheduled to leave from Colombo to Chennai today have been cancelled due to the severity of cyclone ‘Vardha’.
The Meteorological Department said ‘Vardha’ was located at approximately 13.1 N, 81.9E in the Bay of Bengal, about 400 km away from Kankasanturai coast, and likely to cross into Chennai this evening.
It said there would no direct effect to the weather in Sri Lanka from ‘Vardha’, but warned that sea waves could rise to an extent of 1-2m in the Gulf of Manner and the area close to the Kankasanturai coast.
A flight en route to Chennai from Dubai was rerouted to the BIA earlier, this morning, as a result of cyclone ‘Vardah’.
According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department, (IMD), Vardah, which is currently, a very severe cyclonic storm, will weaken, but only to a severe cyclonic storm.
The earlier forecast made by the IMD was that it would weaken into a cyclonic storm, thereby reducing its intensity considerably.
At 9:30 AM, the cyclone was lay centered around 105 kms east-northeast of Chennai. By the time it makes a landfall, its wind speed is expected to be 100-110 kmph with winds gusting up to 120 kmph.
The wind speed during a very severe cyclonic storm is 120 to 130 kmph. In a severe cyclonic storm the wind speed is somewhere between 110 to 80 kmph.
One of the major reasons for destruction in any cyclone is the wind velocity, apart from heavy to heavy rains and flooding.
Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry is very likely during 36 hrs.
The rainfall intensity will increase gradually becoming heavy to very heavy rainfall (7-19 cm) at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall (20 cm) over Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Nellore and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh on December 12, the IMD said.
Tidal wave of about one metre height above the astronomical tide is very likely to inundate the low lying areas of Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh during the time of landfall.
The armed forces have been asked to be on standby with the Army, navy and air force prepared to be deployed anytime as and when required.
People in low-lying areas have been asked to move to safer zones even as various arms of the government were prepared to meet any eventuality.
Flight services were so far operating smoothly, airport officials said.
A high alert has already been sounded Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and teams of NDRF are gearing up as cyclone Vardah is expected to hit southern coast.
The alert has been sounded in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu along the coast of Bay of Bengal, official sources said.