VIJAYAWADA: The very severe cyclonic storm Vardah wreaked havoc in Chennai and different parts of Chittoor and Nellore districts as it made landfall close to the Tamil Nadu capital late Monday afternoon. The storm hit the coast at a staggering speed of over 100 kmph uprooting trees, and electric poles and inundating low-lying areas. At least seven people died in Chennai while one person died and 18 others sustained injuries in different rain-related incidents in Chittoor district.
Public transport came to a standstill in Chennai with buses and suburban trains suspended and airport shut.
The impact of the winds was such that an oil tanker on NH 16 at Sullurpet in Nellore district flipped over spilling crude oil onto the road, disrupting traffic on the route for over a couple of hours. But it was Tamil Nadu, in particular Chennai, which bore the brunt of the storm as did Tirupati, Sullurpeta, Tada and several other parts of Nellore and Chittoor districts. Several places in Venkatagiri, Naidupet, Sullurpeta and other parts of Nellore district have no power supply. The temple town of Tirupati too was lashed by heavy rain since early morning. Half of the town plunged into darkness as power supply was disrupted. Tirumala wasn’t spared either. Scores of pilgrims were stranded in the seven hills.