Chennai: Severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed the coast of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, around Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam, in the early hours of Friday with wind speed gusting of around 120 kilometre per hour (Kmph), as per the Indian Meteorological Department.
Latest updates: Cyclone Gaja crosses Tamil Nadu coast, continues to move inland
The IMD bulletin at 8 am said that the “severe cyclonic storm” has weakened into a “cyclonic storm” will take another two hours to completely move over the land and expected to rain at least for the next six hours. The cyclone began to cross Nagapattinam at 12.30 am on Friday.
The current wind speed is at 80-90kmph gusting to 100 kmph. The entire eye wall region (of the cyclone) still lies over the land, said IMD.
Nagapattinam district, the worst affected recorded the maximum rainfall of 48.4 mm as of 3 am on Friday. Karaikal which falls under Puducherry administration and about 30 kilometres from Nagapattinam has also been impacted.
While the cyclone has created havoc in the cauvery delta districts, the exact impact could be assessed only after the cyclone completely weakens and moves away from the land, informed revenue minister R B Udhayakumar.
He also said that rescue works and clearing of debris are underway by the respective district administration.
Power supply has remained suspended since Thursday night in the delta districts. Many trees and electricity poles have been uprooted and, roof of the buildings have been damaged .
About 80, 000 people in the districts of Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai have been evacuated and moved to relief centres.
As heavy rains are expected to continue on Friday after the cyclone crosses, schools and colleges in about 22 districts will remain closed.
While nine teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Tamil Nadu, two are in Puducherry to provide emergency assistance have been deployed since Wednesday. About seven other teams belonging to the Tamil Nadu government’s disaster response force are also at work.
While buses stopped plying on Thursday evening, train services have been partially or fully suspended.