It was December 12th 2016, when Cyclonic Storm Vardah struck Chennai. Everyone was literally out of physical cash as there was no cash available in ATMs due to Demonetization. It was 6:00 am in the morning, climate was so chilled (unlike Chennai) and there was heavy down pour, when i went to Koyambedu to pick my friend who was returning from Bangalore. I picked my friend and we were on our way back to our home which is when we thought of going to the beach nearby.
We reached the beach by 8:30 AM and winds were blowing so fast that was pushing our car away, we immediately decided to return back home for our own good. Heavy wind and high tides reminded us of Tsunami and we were awestruck and had never seen such high tides in our lives.
It was somewhere around 9 AM when i reached home and there was no Electricity, i immediately filled up water in huge cans so that i can use them for next few days. I went out and purchased fruits, vegetables, milk and biscuits. I didn’t want to commit the same mistake which i did during the Floods of 2015. You wont believe, during floods of 2015, a candle of 2 Rs was sold for around Rs 50! imagine the price of other basic home needs.
Their flat was some distance away, i gathered some courage and came out of the house and when i was about to sit in the car, a huge overhead water tank fell right ahead of my car. I returned back to my house and waited for the intensity of the wind to reduce. Unfortunately the speed of wind was further increasing and water level kept increasing due to heavy rain. I then decided to take the risk and escape.
I drove down from my place to see road blockages everywhere. Due to high velocity of wind and heavy rains, many trees got uprooted, hoardings were lying on the road which made it difficult to drive. I drove between the trees and through inner roads to finally reach my friends place to safety. There was no mobile connectivity as most of the towers had got damaged by the cyclone. Electricity was removed to safeguard the citizens from getting electrocuted. Hotels and shops accepted only cash as swiping machines were not working due to non availability of internet for POS machines. By late night the intensity of cyclone vardah began to reduce and things began returning to normal.
We somehow managed with the food that we bough due to the experience of previous year’s flood but this was not the case for many others. Many houses were damaged, trees were uprooted, property was damaged and many lost their lives too. It was a painful incident and anything of such should never happen again anywhere else.
After two days i returned home and thankfully only rain water seeped in through windows and doors due to wind and there was not much of damaged caused for me. However there was no water for next few days as the overhead tank had flown away.