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18 dead as Cyclone Vardah lashes Tamil Nadu, India

Update December 14, 2016

At least eighteen people have been killed in six districts of Tamil Nadu in rain-related incidents linked to Cyclone Vardah.

Five each died in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts. Four persons died in Kancheepuram district, one each in Villupuram and Nagapattinam districts and two in Tiruvannamali district.

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December 12, 2016: At least two people died after Cyclone Vardah lashed close to Tamil Nadu capital Chennai. 

Over 7,000 people have been evacuated from near the sea in Tamil Nadu and more than 9,000 in Andhra Pradesh.

Chennai has recorded 7.5cm of rain since midnight till 9.30am on Monday.

According to the Asian News International (ANI), all operations at the Chennai airport have been suspended till 5 pm

All schools and colleges have closed today in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur areas.

The National Disaster Management Authority has advised people "to remain in safe places and cooperate with state government officials and disaster management agencies".

The name of severe cyclonic storm "Vardah" has been given by Pakistan meaning "red rose".

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