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Schools shut, navy on alert as cyclone bears down on south India

13 December 2016

Earlier, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had directed the Nellore district administration to evacuate people in about 255 low-lying areas to safer places.

The Met department said the intensity of wind and rainfall would recede after "Vardah" made landfall near Chennai between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Over 15 teams of NDRF have been deployed in various coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh which are on high alert due to the approaching cyclonic storm.

Flight operations at the airport in Chennai have been suspended till 5 pm.

Eight fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu were rescued from the sea near the Sriharikota High Altitude Range while search was on for ten more persons feared trapped at sea.

Under the influence of Vardah, Nellore and Chittoor districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall.

The railways cancelled suburban rail services and diverted some long distance trains.

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Those on two wheelers who continued to drive despite warnings fell on the road due to strong winds.

She said the wind speed touched a peak of around 120 kmph when the first part of the powerful cyclone crossed the coast on Monday evening.

In a statement, he said 260 trees and 37 electric poles had fallen and 190 trees removed. 8000 people have been taken to 54 relief centres in Tamil Nadu.

During the last 24 hours, rainfall occurred at various places over north coastal Tamil Nadu and at isolated places over remaining Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema.

The Tamil Nadu government also advised private sector organisations to allow their workers to avail a holiday or work from home. Tada, Sullurpeta, Naidupeta and other parts of Nellore districts were also receiving heavy rains.

TV footage showed cars toppling under the force of gushing winds and heavy rain in Chennai, the state capital of Tamil Nadu where devastating floods previous year killed at least 250 people.

All schools and colleges are closed today.

Schools shut, navy on alert as cyclone bears down on south India