Cyclone Gaja, which turned into a severe cyclonic storm on Thursday, made landfall between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam in the early hours of Friday. According to official estimates 22 people have lost their lives due to the cyclone.
Gaja crossed the coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam, bringing with it heavy rain, and causing severe damage to communication and power infrastructure, mainly in Nagapattinam district.
Speaking to reporters at Salem, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the relief work will be taken up on a war-footing and that the work was already underway. He said the families of the deceased will be provided a solatium of Rs 10 lakh each from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund (CMPRF).
DMK president M K Stalin, who is also the leader of the Opposition, said in a tweet: “The way the @tnsdma (Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority) took preparatory efforts (to tackle the cyclone) is praiseworthy.
The CM said the families of the deceased will be provided with a solatium of Rs 10 lakh each from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund (CMPRF). Those with severe injuries will be provided with Rs 1 lakh each while people who had sustained simple injuries will get Rs 25,000 as a relief, he added.
The damage caused by Gaja, including to the fishing sector, was being assessed, he said. According to the chief minister, the Fisheries Department will estimate the damage to the fishing boats before paying compensation to the fishermen.
Over 80,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas as severe cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’ crossed the coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam early Friday, bringing with it heavy rains in coastal regions.