India – 10 Dead After Cyclone Vardah Hits Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh

Tropical Cyclone Vardah made landfall near near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India on 12 December, 2016. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reports that at least 10 people have died in Tamil Nadu. A further two deaths in Andhra Pradesh have been reported by local media.

Maximum sustained wind speeds of over 130 km/h were recorded, and the storm has caused severe damage to parts of the city of Chennai. Images on Social Media showed cars being lifted up by the strong winds. Over 4,000 trees have been uprooted, power lines downed and buildings damaged. Areas have seen power cuts and over 300 roads have been blocked throughout Chennai city.

Flight operations at Chennai airport were suspended, as were train services in the city. Both have since resumed.

NDRF teams clear up damage after Cyclone Vardah. Photo: NDRF

Vardah also brought heavy rain, with 224 mm recorded in 24 hours in Meenambakkam, Chennai, between 12 and 13 December. Other states also saw heavy rain. Nellore in Andhra Pradesh recorded 75 mm 24 hours to 13 December. Tirupati, also in Andhra Pradesh, recorded 76 mm during the same period. The storm is moving westwards and Bangalore saw 63 mm of rain in the last 24 hours.

Thousands of people have been evacuated by India’s disaster management agencies. Over 9,000 people have been evacuated in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh, and over 10,000 in Tamil Nadu state. Around 100 relief camps are in operation in Tamil Nadu for those displaced by the cyclone.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDAM) says that 4 people have died in Chennai, two each in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, one in Villupuram and one in Nagapattinam. In Andhra Pradesh, two people have died in Chittoor district as heavy rain lashed the region. It is not yet clear how the victims died.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) says that, by early 13 December, the cyclone had weakened into a well marked low pressure area over north interior Tamil Nadu and adjoining South Interior Karnataka. IMD warned that the low pressure is likely to bring rainfall to many places, with isolated heavy falls over north interior Tamil Nadu and adjoining areas of south interior Karnataka and north Kerala very likely later on 13 December to early 14 December.

On Dec. 12 at 3:42 a.m. EST (0842 UTC) NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Vardah making landfall in eastern India.
Credits: NASA MODIS Rapid Response/NOAA

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Flood Summary

Last updated: December 22, 2016
Tropical Cyclone Vardah, India, December 2016
December 12 to December 14, 2016
Flash flood
Extreme rainfall


A - Chennai
B - Nellore
C - Tirupati


Rainfall level
224 mm in 24 hours
Meenambakkam, Chennai, Yamil Nadu - December 12 to December 13, 2016
Rainfall level
75 mm in 24 hours
Nellore, Andhra Pradesh - December 12 to December 13, 2016
Rainfall level
76 mm in 24 hours
Tirupati - December 12 to December 13, 2016


12 people
December 12 to December 13, 2016
10 fatalities in Tamil Nadu, 2 in Andhra Pradesh. It is not clear how the victims died.
Nellore, Andhra Pradesh - December 11 to December 14, 2016
Tamil Nadu - December 11 to December 14, 2016