Cyclone Vardah

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Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Vardah
Very severe cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Vardah 2016-12-11 0515Z (gallery).jpg
Vardah at peak strength on 11 December
FormedDecember 6, 2016
DissipatedDecember 13, 2016
Highest winds3-minute sustained: 130 km/h (80 mph)
1-minute sustained: 155 km/h (100 mph)
Lowest pressure975 hPa (mbar); 28.79 inHg
Fatalities47 total
Damage$3.37 billion (2016 USD)
Areas affectedThailand, Sumatra, Malaysia, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, South India
Part of the 2016 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Vardah was the fourth cyclonic storm, as well as the most intense tropical cyclone of the 2016 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. The system struck the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as South India, before later affecting Somalia.

Originating as a low pressure area near the Malay Peninsula on December 3, the storm was designated a depression on December 6. It gradually intensified into a Deep Depression on the following day, skirting off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and intensified into a Cyclonic Storm on December 8. Maintaining a generally westward track thereafter, Vardah consolidated into a Severe Cyclonic Storm on December 9, before peaking as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, with 3-minute sustained winds of 80 mph (130 km/h), and a minimum central pressure of 975 hPa (28.8 inHg), on December 11. Weakening into a Severe Cyclonic Storm, Vardah made landfall close to Chennai on the following day, and degenerated into remnant low on December 13.

The name Vardah, suggested by Pakistan, refers to the red rose.[1]

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

Under the influence of a persistent area of convection, a low-pressure area formed over the Malay Peninsula, adjoining north Sumatra, in early December 2016. The low pressure area gradually organized into a tropical disturbance over the next several days, as it slowly moved towards the southeast Bay of Bengal. On December 6, The IMD classified the system as Depression BOB 06, as the system had sufficiently organized itself, with winds of 45 km/h (30 mph).[2] Owing to low wind shear and favorable sea surface temperatures, the storm gradually intensified into a Deep Depression on the following day.[3] Skirting off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a Deep Depression, BOB 06 was upgraded to a Cyclonic Storm by the IMD and JTWC, in the early hours of December 8, and was assigned the name Vardah.[4]

With conditions favorable for further development, Vardah intensified into a Severe Cyclonic Storm on December 9.[5] Although predicted to maintain its intensity, Vardah strengthened further, as it followed a generally west-northwestwards track, prompting the IMD to upgrade its intensity to Very Severe Cyclonic Storm status, on December 10.[6] Gradually intensifying as it moved westward, Vardah reached its peak intensity on December 11, with maximum 3-minute sustained winds of 130 km/h (80 mph), and a minimum central pressure of 975 mbar (28.79 inHg).[7]

On December 12, Vardah weakened into a Severe Cyclonic Storm, before making landfall over the eastern coast of India, close to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, with winds of 65 mph (105 km/h).[8] Afterward, it rapidly weakened into a depression, due to land interaction, on 13 December.[9] The depression caused overnight rainfall in Southern Karnataka on December 13. Due to land interaction, Vardah degenerated into a well-marked low on December 13, at around midday, local time.

The remnants of Vardah crossed the Indian Subcontinent and entered the Arabian Sea on December 14.[10] Owing to warm sea surface temperatures, the system regenerated into a depression on December 17, with the IMD assigning the storm a new identifier, ARB 02.[11][12] On the next day, the system entered an area marked by colder sea surface temperatures and high wind shear, causing it to rapidly weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area, just off the coast of Somalia, before moving ashore and dissipating on December 19.[13][14]

Preparations and impact[edit]

Thailand[edit]

The precursor low of Cyclone Vardah caused severe flooding in Thailand, affecting half a million residents in the country's southern provinces. By the end of the week, more than 300 millimetres (12 in) of rainfall was observed in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province of the country.[15] 21 people were reported to be killed due to the floods, and the damage were about US$25 million.[16][17]

South India[edit]

Andaman and Nicobar Islands[edit]

Vardah brought heavy rainfall to Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a Deep Depression. Hut Bay recorded 166 mm (6.5 in) of rainfall on December 6, while Port Blair recorded 167 mm (6.6 in) of rainfall on December 7.[18] More than 1,400 tourists were stranded on the Havelock and Neil islands of the archipelago, during the storm.[19] They were evacuated by the Indian Navy on December 9.

Tamil Nadu[edit]

Vardah making landfall over the coast of India

More than 16,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas, as a result of Vardah. The Indian Armed Forces were kept on standby for any relief operations.[20] Two warships, INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt, sailed out of Visakhapatnam to Chennai, carrying medical teams, divers, inflatable rubber boats, an integral helicopter, and material, including food, tents, clothes, medicines, and blankets to aid with relief efforts. Fifteen teams of the National Disaster Response Force were deployed in various coastal regions.[21] The cyclone killed 24 people in the state,[22] and caused 22,573 crore (US$3.35 billion) in damage.[23]

Vardah crossed the eastern coast of India close to Chennai in the afternoon hours of December 12, 2016.[24] Winds were estimated at 65 mph (105 km/h) during landfall. The cyclone claimed over 18 lives, uprooted about 1 lakh trees in Chennai and its suburbs, and caused extensive damage to roads, supplies, and power infrastructure: over 10,000 electric poles were mangled and 800 transformers damaged. Carcasses of around 77 cows were found afloat in a lake in the Kancheepuram District. As many as 224 roads were blocked, and 24 huts were also damaged. More than ten people were reported to have been killed, due to events related to the storm.[25]

Public transportation was severely affected by Vardah. Chennai International Airport was closed at least until 11:00 pm IST (5:30 pm UTC) on December 12, in the wake of the storm, leaving about 500 passengers stranded. The Indian Railways suspended operations of all 17 outstation trains originating from Chennai, and suburban railway services were also cancelled.[26] Chennai Metro services were also affected, after power was cut off, as a precaution by the TNEB.[27]

Several Compound walls of buildings, the glass windows of scrapers and certain buildings were damaged. If not, the walls became weak.

Andhra Pradesh[edit]

Two people were killed in the state.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sanyal, Anindita. "Name Of Cyclone 'Vardah' Given By Pakistan, Means A 'Red Rose'". NDTV. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  2. ^ Kumar, Naresh. "Special Tropical Weather Outlook for North Indian Ocean issued at 0600 UTC of 7 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  3. ^ Katiyar, Shobhit. "Special Tropical Weather Outlook for North Indian Ocean issued at 1930 UTC of 7 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  4. ^ Katiyar, Shobhit. "Tropical Storm Vardah Advisory Number One issued at 0300 UTC of 8 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  5. ^ Srivastava, Akhil. "Tropical Storm Vardah Advisory Number Fifteen issued at 2000 UTC of 9 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  6. ^ Ravindren, Shambu. "Tropical Storm Vardah Advisory Number Twenty One issued at 1500 UTC of 10 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  7. ^ Singh, Charan. "Tropical Storm Vardah Advisory Number Twenty Eight issued at 1200 UTC of 11 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  8. ^ Kumar, Naresh. "Tropical Storm Vardah Advisory Number Thirty Five issued at 1300 UTC of 12 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Katiyar, Shobhit. "BOB06/2016 Bulletin Number 48 issued at 0300 UTC of December 13, 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Tropical Weather Outlook for the North Indian Ocean Issued at 0600 UTC of 14 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  11. ^ Gopal, Neetha. "Depression over southwest Arabian Sea" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Significant Tropical Weather Advisory for the Indian Ocean Issued on 16 December 2016". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Archived from the original on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  13. ^ Gopal, Neetha. "Special Tropical Weather Outlook for the North Indian Ocean issued at 0600 UTC of 18 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  14. ^ Kumar, Naresh. "Special Tropical Weather Outlook for the North Indian Ocean issued at 1400 UTC of 18 December 2016" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  15. ^ Wright, Pam. "Severe Flooding Kills 14 in Thailand; Southern Tourist Islands Inundated". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Thailand: Floods - Dec 2016". ReliefWeb. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  17. ^ Global Catastrophe Recap December 2016 (pdf) (Report). Aon Benfield. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Port Blair receives 76 mm in six hours, 1400 tourists stranded in Havelock". Skymet Weather. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  19. ^ PTI. "At least 1400 tourists stranded due to heavy rainfall in the Andamans". The Indian Express. PTI. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  20. ^ Shukla, Shuchi. "2 Dead As Cyclone Vardah Strikes Near Chennai: 10 Updates". NDTV. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Cyclone Vardah makes landfall: Two killed in Tamil Nadu, life thrown off gear". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  22. ^ R. B. Udhaya Kumar (19 December 2016). 24 Dead in Tamil Nadu over Cyclone Vardah hit (video). Thanthi TV. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Tamil Nadu estimates cyclone damage at Rs 22,573 crore". Business Syandard. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  24. ^ "Cyclone Vardah: Chennai worst hit, limps back to normalcy - ChennaiVision". ChennaiVision. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  25. ^ Shukla, Shuchi. "2 Dead As Cyclone Vardah Strikes Near Chennai: 10 Updates". NDTV. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Cyclone Vardah makes landfall: Two killed in Tamil Nadu, life thrown off gear". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  27. ^ "EB issues advisory before restoring power supply - ChennaiVision". ChennaiVision. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  28. ^ "Cyclone Vardah Kills Two In Andhra Pradesh". NDTV. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016.

External links[edit]