Cyclone Gaja ripped through Nagapattinam early on Friday uprooting trees and snapping power lines leaving a trail of destruction in the coastal region besides claiming 13 lives and flooding standing crops.
"The government has received information that so far 11 persons have died," Chief Minister K Palaniswami said.
Earlier, MC Sampath, State Minister has said that the people who have lost their lives in the cyclone will be given ex-gratia by the state govt.
According to Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority, as many as 76,290 people were evacuated from low lying areas and sheltered at over 300 relief centres in six districts including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur.
A holiday has been declared for educational institutions in Nagapattinam here.
An India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin said, "severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranniyam ...with wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting up to 120 kmph, early Friday."
"Though the center of cyclone is over land, rear sector of eye wall is still over sea. It will take about an hour to move over land," the IMD bulletin issued at 3.15 AM said.
However, Deputy Director General of Meteorology S Balachandran told PTI, the cyclone will take another two hours to fully cross the coast.
The severe cyclonic storm is very likely to move nearly westwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours, the IMD said.
During the cyclone's landfall, rains lashed Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, and Thanjavur, uprooting trees in several regions, the details of which is expected later in the day.
Image Credit: Twitter/ ANI
Electricity supply was disconnected here and in several other coastal regions in view of the cyclone's landfall.
Four teams each of National Disaster Response Force personnel have been already deployed in Nagapattinam district while two teams of the state disaster response force in Cuddalore district, officials said Thursday.
The state disaster management authority had released an animated video aimed at creating awareness on the do's and don'ts during cyclone.
Image Credit: Twitter/ ANI
- The local administrations in seven districts have declared holidays in all educational institutions. These districts include Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore and Ramanathapuram. Universities and colleges have also postponed their exams slated for Friday.
- Helpline numbers 1070 (state-level) and 1077 (districts) have also been announced by the government to ensure that timely assistance is provide to all those in need.
- The Indian Navy is also on high alert. Two Navy ships - Ranvir and Khanjar - are standing by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid, distress relief, evacuation, and logistic support, including proviging medical aid, the Navy said. Naval aircraft are also standing by to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty, evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded.
(With inputs from agencies)