Written by Staff Writer
12 Dec, 2016 | 1:03 pm
Heavy rainfall lashed India’s Southern states as a severe cyclonic storm inched closer to Chennai, one of the most populous cities of the country.
The Area Cyclone Warning Centre Director S. Balachandran said, the Cyclone Vardah is now 180 kilometres east of Chennai and that it is moving in Westward direction towards Chennai is likely to cross near Chennai by noon Monday, December 12.
He went on to note that due to the influence of the system, it has started to rain heavily over the South Andhra, North coastal Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
“The amount of rainfall is going to increase further and also strong winds have started to blow. Now, during next 36 hours, rainfall would occur at many place”, he added.
Due to the extreme weather conditions, Sri Lankan Airlines UL 121 which departed Colombo bound to Chennai, India, has returned to Colombo.
Meanwhile, the airport management said that another flight bound to Chennai from Dubai has been diverted to Colombo.
The Duty Manager at the Katunayake International Airport said that the foreign airline has landed in Colombo at around 9:30 this morning.
The Met Department says that the cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’ is making its way across the Bay of Bengal, 400 km North-East, off the coast of Kankesanthurai and is moving towards India.
The cyclone, which has wind speeds of over 100 kmph is predicted to make landfall in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh by afternoon.
The Department says that strong winds with speeds of between 100 – 120 kmph could be expected in the coast from Mannar to Kankesanthurai.
The Department further notes that Sri Lanka will not be directly affected, but rough sees are expected with waves that could rise to a height between 1 – 2 meters.
Naval and fishing communities are being warned by the Met Department to refrain from setting out to sea in the Northern, North Eastern and the Gulf of Mannar coastal areas.
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