Death count rises 45 as cyclone Gaja leaves a trail of destruction (Photo Source: PTI)
The death toll in cyclone Gaja on Sunday climbed to 45 while over 80,000 people are still stranded at different relief camps facing a paucity of food and drinking water and other amenities across Tamil Nadu. Four people were buried alive in Kodaikanal after their shelters crumbled due to a landslide caused by cyclone Gaja. Besides, more than 1.7 lakh trees and standing crops have been damaged, 735 cattle died and over 1.5 lakh houses destroyed, affecting the livelihood of farmers in villages. The extent of damage is being evaluated.
Cyclone ‘Gaja’ which slapped the coastal areas at 120 kmph on Thursday night left a trail of destructions across six coastal districts in Tamil Nadu and three in the hinterland besides Karaikal in Puducherry. As damages and casualties have been raising with each passing day, TN Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Sunday took a stock of the situation and urged all the political parties to take part in the relief activities. The state government has informed the Centre about the damage caused by cyclone Gaja.
In the wake of this massive calamity, Palaniswami on Sunday announced a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to family of each of the deceased from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund (CMPRF). Those with severe injuries would be provided with Rs one lakh each while those whose injuries are not grievous in nature would get Rs 25,000 compensation.
As of now, 2.50 lakh people have been housed in over 483 camps with food, and medical amenities being delivered by the Palaniswami government.
Ten out of 26 Combined Drinking Water Schemes in coastal districts have been set right. Over one lakh people had benefited by medical camps to prevent epidemics in affected regions. Food was stocked in advance to make it available for people.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a fresh warning about another low-pressure area near Andaman. “The low pressure is moving in the west direction. So, it would bring rainfall in TN between November 19 and 21,” Met department told reporters.