Cyclone Gaja updates | Death toll rises to 22

A tree is uprooted due to gusty winds at Sathakonvalasai, near Uchapuli in Ramanathapuram district on Friday.

A tree is uprooted due to gusty winds at Sathakonvalasai, near Uchapuli in Ramanathapuram district on Friday.

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.

According to initial reports, the coastal areas of the district from Nagapattinam to Point Calimere bore the brunt of Gaja's wrath.

 

Helpline numbers

The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority has opened district-level helpline 1077 for people to contact in case of emergency. The body's State helpline 1070 is also in use.

Emergency contact numbers for the districts are:

Nagapattinam - 9443500728, 9843810579, 9003322566

Cuddalore - 04142-220700

Tiruvarur - 04366-226623

Pudukottai - 04322-222207

Thanjavur - 04362-230121

Ramanathapuram - 04567-230060

Here are the live updates:

4:15 pm

 

Anna University exams postponed to Dec. 14

The examinations scheduled for the affiliated colleges of Anna University, Chennai, on 17 November, 2018 are only postponed.

The postponed examinations will be held on 14 December 2018.

However, the examinations scheduled for the University Departments (College of Engineering, Guindy, Alagappa College of Technology, Madras Institute of Technology and School of Architecture and Planning) will be conducted as scheduled.

 

3.30 pm

Stalin praises disaster management body

DMK president M.K. Stalin, who is also the leader of the Opposition in the Legilative Assembly, said in a tweet: “The way the @tnsdma (Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority) took preparatory efforts (to tackle the cyclone) is praiseworthy.”

 

3.10 pm

 

Two die in Sivaganga district

The cyclone has claimed two lives in Sivaganga district and uprooted about 50 trees while leaving minimum damage in the coastal Ramanathapuram district.  After making landfall at the early hours of Friday near Nagapattinam, the cyclone brought incessant rains, accompanied by gusty winds in Sivaganga district and normal but widespread rainfall in Ramanathapuram district.  Muthu Murugan (56) died in wall collapse in Sivaganga taluk and Elizabeth Rani, a sanitary worker died in a tee falling at Nerkumbai, the Collector said.

 

2.30 pm

Bharathidasan University postpones exams

Bharathidasan University postpones all its semester examinations scheduled from November 17 to 20.  Fresh dates for the exams will be announced later. Examinations will be held as per schedule from November 22, Controller of Exams, Bharthidasan University said in a press release.

1.20 pm

Heavy rain in Idukki

Meanwhile, Kerala's Idukki district has been experiencing heavy rain due to cyclonic storm Gaja. The rain, which started mildly on Thursday night, intensified on Friday and there was an alert to avoid night travel through the Ghat roads in the High Range.

The storm, likely to weaken into a 'deep depression' in the next three hours, is projected to move towards Kerala by today evening. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the Arabian Sea off the Kerala coast.

1 pm

Water to be released from Vaigai dam

The Central Water Commission Official Flood Forecast twitter handle has tweeted that water is about to be released from Vaigai dam in Theni district.

"Vaigai Dam in Theni District is releasing about 4,680 cusec of water to create flood cushion for the expected rainfall in association with CS GAJA. Now there is a flood cushion of around 5 feet (around 0.6 TMC) in Vaigai Dam," the tweet said.

"This release is likely to increase the water level at Sholavandan town, Madurai City. Since it is raining in the lower Vaigai basin, district authorities of Sivaganga, Madurai and Ramanathapuram may take necessary precautions," it further added.

12.50 pm

Rajnath speaks to CM Palaniswamy

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that he has spoken to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, "regarding the situation in the cyclone affected areas of Tamil Nadu."

"Assured all possible assistance from the Centre in mitigating the situation arising due to cyclone. Asked the HS to monitor the situation & provide all help to the state admin," he tweeted.

12.30 pm

Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar addresses the media

 

12 noon

Gaja likely to weaken into 'deep depression'

Cyclonic storm Gaja is likely to weaken into a 'deep depression' in the next three hours, said a bulletin from the Indian Meteorological Department. Earlier classified as a 'severe cyclonic storm', it weakened into a 'cyclonic storm' in the early hours of Friday.

Most of the warnings of rainfall over interior TN and heavy rainfall in isolated places in Kerala and the Lakshadweep Islands are still in place, according to the IMD bulletin.

Sea conditions are still said to be rough. Fishermen have been advised to not venture into Southwest Bay of Bengal for the next six hours, and the Arabian Sea of the Kerala coast from Friday evening owards as the storm is moving southwest.

The forecast tracking cyclonic storm Gaja's movement from Tamil Nadu to Kerala. Source: IMD

The forecast tracking cyclonic storm Gaja's movement from Tamil Nadu to Kerala. Source: IMD

 

 

11.50 am

 

Death toll in central districts due to Cyclone Gaja has risen to 20. Ten persons dead in Thanjavur district, 4 in Tiruvarur, 3 in Pudukkottai, two in Tiruchi and one in Nagapattinam.

Two have been others injured.

 

11:30 am

The toll in the central region  has now increased to 13 with the death of two persons, one each in Tiruchi and Pudukottai district.

A 67-year retired employee of Ordnance Factory Tiruchi died after a tree fell on him at Pulangudi on the city's outskirts.

A 50-year old man Kasinathan died after a tree uprooted and fell on his house at  Nagudi in Pudukottai district.

11:00 am

TN announces solatium

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who is in Salem, said as many as 11 people have died due to the cyclone. The government will provide Rs.10 lakh to the kin of the deceased.

He also said State ministers are camping in various parts of the cyclone-affected area to oversee the relief operations.

10:40 am

Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar to mediapersons that relief operations are being taken on a war-footing. Mr. Udhayakumar said the damage caused by the cyclone is being ascertained. "CM will issue a detailed report," he added.

10:15 am

Seven more deaths

Heavy rains accompanied by strong wind claimed the lives of seven more persons in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts on Friday.

Six persons died at Adiramapattinam,  Thiruchitrambalam, Orathanadu, Melattur and Peravurani due to wall collapse, uprooting of trees and collapse of asbestos sheet roof. A three year old boy at Adiramapattinam and a woman at Peravurani were among the dead.

In Tiruvarur district, a portion of a building collapsed causing the death of V. Kanaga (45) at Needamangalam, said police sources.  With these, the death toll in Cyclone Gaja related incidents in the delta has risen to 11.

10:10 am

Cylone update

 

As per the 9:10 am IMD bulletin, Gaja has weakened in to cyclonic storm and is stationed about 95 km west of Athirampattinam and 110 km NE of Kodaikanal with wind speed of 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph.

It is likely to move nearly westwards and weaken into a deep depression in the next six hours.

10:05 am

No power supply in Karaikkal

NDRF personnel clearing an uprooted tree at an arterial road in Karaikkal on Friday.

NDRF personnel clearing an uprooted tree at an arterial road in Karaikkal on Friday.

 

Cyclone Gaja has caused severe damage to Karaikal. Several houses in coastal areas have been damaged and the power supply has been completely disrupted. Hundreds of people have been shifted to relief camps.

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanaswamy is scheduled to visit the affected areas later in the day.

10:00 am

 Rains continue in southern districts

A tree was uprooted at Samantham Pettai in Nagapattinam in the early hours of Friday as wind gusting upto 100 kmph lashed the district.

A tree was uprooted at Samantham Pettai in Nagapattinam in the early hours of Friday as wind gusting upto 100 kmph lashed the district.

 

After cyclone Gaja made landfall around midnight, there has been widespread rain in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

There was a small landslide over a stretch between Kodaikanal and Palani ghat section. Poles and a couple of trees had been uprooted. Dindigul District Collector T. G. Vinay told The Hindu that rains continued and as a precaution, power has been disconnected. Many low lying areas were inundated.

Power connection has been switched off in several places as a precautionary measure.

 

9:45 am

Two killed in Cuddalore

 Incessant rains accompanied by strong winds under the influence of Cyclone Gaja claimed the lives of two persons in Cuddalore district.

The victim Anandan, 40 of Kurunjipadi near Neyveli was electrocuted when he came into contact with a live electric wire, which crashed and fell down on him.

In another incident,  Ayyamal, 45 of Virudhachalam died while her husband sustained serious injuries when the wall of their house collapsed following heavy rains.

9:40 am

The Periya Pallivasal in Pattukottai is damaged due to cyclone Gaja.

The Periya Pallivasal in Pattukottai is damaged due to cyclone Gaja.

 

9:30 am

The Tiruchi division of Southern Railway has annonced following trains have been cancelled for the day

56115/56116 - Mayiladuthurai-Thanjavur-Mayiladuthurai Passenger

56824 - Tiruchi-Mayiladuthurai Passenger

56871/56872 - Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur-Mayiladuthurai Passenger

76807/76808 - Tiruchi-Manamadurai-Tiruchi passenger

76840 - Karaikkudi-Tiruchi passenger

Mysore-Mayiladuthurai Express (16232) is short terminated at Thanjavur

Ernakular-Karaikkal Express (16188) is short terminated at Thanjavur

Coimbatore-Mannargudi Express (16616) is short terminated at Thanjavur

Tiruchendur-Chennai Egmore Chendur Express (16106) is diverted via Tiruchi, Vriddhachalam, Villupuram

Tiruchi-Chennai Egmore-Tiruchi Cholan Express (16796/16795) is diverted via Tiruchi, Vriddhachalam, Villupuram

 

9:10 am

Nagai MLA Thamim Ansari visits the cyclone-ravaged New bus stand in Nagapattinam on Friday.

Nagai MLA Thamim Ansari visits the cyclone-ravaged New bus stand in Nagapattinam on Friday.

 

9:00 am

Train services hit

Three trains suffer detention midway in the Delta region.

The Rameswaram - Chennai express was detained at Thanjavur. The Mayiladuthurai-Tiruchi passenger was detained at Kumbakonam while the Tiruchendur-Chennai express was detained near Thanjavur. The Mannargudi-Tirupathi express did not leave Mannargudi this morning.

Passenger trains from Mayiladathurai to Tiruvarur and Tiruchi to Mayiladuthurai have been cancelled for the day.

The Tiruchi-Erode passenger was detained at Elamanur near Tiruchi for over 20 minutes after a tree uprooted and fell on the track. Engineering staff removed the uprooted tree and cleared the section for traffic.

8:30 am

Four killed in wall collapse

Four persons including three brothers  died in Thanjavur district in the early hours on Friday after a wall collapsed at their house  following heavy rains. The incident took place at Sivakollai  village in coastal Pattukottai Taluk.

The deceased were identified as Sathish (22) his younger brothers Ramesh (21) and Dinesh (19) besides another youth  by name Ayyadurai, said police sources.

8:25 am

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.

8:20 am

Flights diverted

The Tiruchi-bound Air India Express flight from Sharjah has been diverted to Kochi due to heavy wind at Tiruchi.

An Indigo flight in the Chennai-Tiruchi sector was not able to land at Tiruchi airport due to heavy winds and hence flew back to Chennai.

The Tiruchi-bound Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur, which was to land at around 8.55 am has been diverted to Chennai.

8:15 am

Rainfall

Mayiladuthurai recorded a maximum of 4.5 centimetres of rain in Nagapattinam district.

Rainfall recorded in Nagapattinam District till 3:00 am (in millimeters)

Nagapattinam - 48.40

Thirupoondi      - 30.40

Talainayar       - 26.80

Vedaranyam    - 27.00

Mayiladuthurai- 45.00

Sirkali              - 31.60

Kollidam           - 33.60

Manalmedu       - 19.80

Tharangambadi- 10.50

                 Total - 273.10

               Average- 30.34

8:00 am

Holiday for central and southern districts

The district administration has declared holiday for schools and colleges in Madurai, Theni, Virudunagar, Tiruchi, Thoothukudi and Coimbatore districts.

Nagapattinam district, which bore the brunt of the cyclone's fury had already declared holiday for Friday the previous day itself. Holiday was declared in Thoothukudi district as well.

7:30 am

Gaja weakens

Gusty winds lash Mandapam near Pamban on Friday around 5:30 hours as cyclone Gaja made landfall near Vedaranyam

Gusty winds lash Mandapam near Pamban on Friday around 5:30 hours as cyclone Gaja made landfall near Vedaranyam

 

The Indian Meteorological Department released a bulletin at 4:00 am on Friday. According to the bulletin, the severe cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’ over southwest Bay of Bengal moved further west-southwestwards and crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranniyam with wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph during 0030 to 0230 hours IST of November 16, 2018.

The IMD said Gaja is likely to move nearly westwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during next six hours. "Though center of cyclone lies over land, rear sector of eye wall is still over sea. It will take about an hour to move over land," it said.

Maximum wind during landfall was reported from Atirampattinam-111 kmph (0230 IST), Nagapattinam-100 kmph (0230 IST) and Karaikal-92 kmph.

Click here to read Thursday's updates


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 20, 2022 6:39:27 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cyclone-gaja-aftermath-live-updates/article25513883.ece