One might think a city like Chennai will be prepared after the dramatic December episode in 2015. And yes, this was announced and expected well in advance. Thanks to Chennai Weatherman John for stressing about this cyclone alert 🚨 so much in advance, people were at the least not ignorant.
The last severe cyclone that hit Chennai was 29 years ago, and after that Chennai has seen it’s fair share of natural calamities through tsunami, floods and earthquakes .. but Cyclone? No. Until cyclone alert was announced for Nada and Vardah in December 2016.
People genuinely took this seriously and stocked up on groceries and household goods, companies planned BCP procedures, and powerbanks were on full-charge. And then Nada didn’t happen.
I mean, if you look at the picture taken on Nada-day below, it looks pretty scary, but it just moved along.
So just when people were getting lethargic to the idea of the next cyclone alert, it was announced that landfall is expected by at 80km/hr. ‘Twas such a “Oh dear..” moment! Chennai was not ready for this.
Early December 12th morning, the wind was so chilled and makes you take a dozen #cloudporn shots from your balcony. But as the day progressed, you knew you were in for a ride. No one (mostly! there are of course a couple of bravehearts) turned up to work; I dislodged the swing and kept it inside as it was eerily swinging so hard hitting my balcony door repeatedly , as if demanding attention. Power supply goes off. Water supply is cut. Lifts are powered off. And somewhere between status updates like “Yeno Vaanilai Maarudhey ❤️” and “Vintage Madras ❤️” , people started trending #VardahCyclone #staysafe .
History repeats itself.
I’ve never seen anything like this. Glasses shattered in many houses as they kept it shut and the wind was just too darn fierce to give up. This is a 100kmph cyclone, what were you thinking ? That it’ll come to knock and see that your door is locked and go next door ? We had our glass balcony doors partially open to combat this scenario, but that gave way to the rain and the INSANE wind and we were literally flooded. Water started gushing in through every window and door ! If it was just rain, our floor would never be affected at the least, but a cyclone gives a damn about which floor you live in, apparently.
We had to get soaked in the rain that the wind carried along inside and were shivering in the bones! This lasted an unbearable 4 hours without any sense of relief. The entire garden which took my mom years to nurture, is a massacre right now. The hardwood floors are a sorry sight! And the water connection has still not resumed. Wifi doesn’t work (duh!) and mobile internet and service goes on and off. (Airtel has outdone itself! BRAVO 👏🏼) Power is running on backup now so no TV and no connection to the outside world whatsoever.
The aftermath is equally horrifying. How do we make this all okay again? I just had to update everyone whilst I still can.
Many of my friends’ homes are flooded, colleagues send videos of office building glass shattering and buses being overthrown.
Thanks Vardah. You may now leave. 🤕🙏🏼
Something about Chennai and December.