Cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’ has moved westwards and is and expected to cross coastal Tamil Nadu in the afternoon of November 15, the India Meteorological Department said.
A bulletin from the department said ‘Gaja’ was likely to move west-southwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm. Collectors of Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore, Pudukottai and Nagapattinam have declared holiday for schools and colleges in their respective districts.
Nine teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Tamil Nadu and two in Puducherry. Seven teams of the state government’s disaster response force are also deployed, according to revenue minister R B Udhayakumar.
Following a special advisory from the Central Water Commission, the state government has directed the public works department to keep round-the-clock vigil at all dams, especially small and medium ones, in the state.
According to the latest update by the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA), the cyclonic storm over west-central and adjoining east-central and south Bay of Bengal has moved west-southwestwards. As of 2 pm on Wednesday, it was about 490 km east of Chennai and 580 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam.
With the Tamil Nadu government already declaring that 30,500 rescue personnel were on standby, the district collectors of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukottai, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Ramanathapuram have declared holiday for schools and colleges on Thursday.
All educational institutions in Puducherry and Karaikal regions would remain closed today in view of the cyclone.
The weather department also issued an Orange warning for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Wednesday, which signifies that the local administration and residents of the area should remain prepared to take necessary action in the wake of the storm