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Cyclone Gaja hits Tamil Nadu, 30 killed, many homeless

Cyclone


Chennai: When ‘Gaja’ hovered over the Bay of Bengal near Nagapattinam district for the past one week, the public and all government stakeholders did little realise its ferocity.

With 30 persons dead, heavy winds uprooting thousands of trees in the delta districts and collapsed power lines, ‘Gaja’ tore into districts like Nagapattinam, Cudd-alore, Ramanathapuram, Pudukkottai and Tiruvarur districts. Nagapattinam district bore the major brunt of the storm.

 

‘Gaja’, played hide and seek for over a week and finally struck with winds speeds touching 110 kmph, as earlier warned by the Indian Meteorological Department and Regional Meteorological Centre, which were closely monitoring the situation throughout the day. Both agencies kept updating revenue officials about ‘Gaja’ trail.

Revenue officials who have had kept their eyes peeled over the stormy development, had quickly evacuated around 81,000 people to safety across the delta districts. The storm did not spare livestock, as a huge numbers of cattle were killed across these districts.

The IMD, in its bulletin, said that the cyclone made landfall between 12.30 am and 2.30 am, after which it trundled on its way westwards, and is slowly poised to weaken.

Further, districts like Pudukkottai, Tiruchy and Ramanathapuram had on Thursday and Friday mornings, received mild rain.