Cyclone Vardah damages vessels, other equipment at Chennai ports

Chennai: Cyclone Vardah that crossed Chennai coast on December 12 has damaged some vessels at L&T Shipyard and Kamarajar Port Ltd, said officials.

“There has been some damage to the L&T Shipyard at Kattupalli but it is not very severe. Since the facility was built by L&T (Larsen and Toubro Ltd), it will not take too long to repair the damage and restore normal operations,” L&T Vice President D. Morada told IANS in an email.

“We are inspecting and assessing the extent of damage to the vessels, and will make a plan for repairs after that. The assets are covered under insurance.

“Overall, there will be no significant impact our business,” Morada added.

However Morada declined to specify the number of vessels that got damaged and the extent of the damage.

On the other hand Kamarajar Port’s Chairman-cum-Managing Director M.A.Bhaskarachar told IANS: “One pilot launch belonging to a private contractor was lost. Similarly navigation buoys got drifted or damaged. Several trees, lamp posts have fallen. Sheets on conveyor belt was also damaged.”

According to him, the total loss for Kamarajar Port may be around Rs 10 crore.

“It is rough estimate and could be less also,” Bhaskarachar added.

He said a day before the cyclone all the ships that were berthed were asked to move out and no new vessel was brought in. According to Indian Coast Guard, the situation was tense at Chennai Port on December 12 after the ropes of port crane vessel ‘F.C.Thangam’ parted and drifted onto the decommissioned submarine ‘Wagli’.

As a result, the ropes of submarine also broke as did the mooring ropes of ‘MV Akbar’, dredger ‘Kaveri’ and ‘VH1’. According to Coast Guard, its vessel ICGS Varad was deployed to bring back the vessels set adrift to safety. The Coast Guard said the two teams of ICGS Varad and with additional manpower, ropes and two tugs re-berthed the adrift vessels safely.