Cyclone Gaja: Death toll rises to 13, relief operations on war-footing

In Tamil Nadu, relief measures are being carried out on a war-footing in the areas hit by Cyclone Gaja. So far, 13 people have lost their lives. More than 11,000 staff are involved in resuming power connections in affected areas. Mobile medical teams have also been mobilised.

The Indian Navy has offered its support to the state authorities for relief works. Two ships – INS Chetlat and INS Cheriam – have been diverted to Karaikal near Puducherry to render assistance. Three ships Darshak, Carnicobar and Coradivh are kept on standby in Chennai. Two other vessels Ranvir and Khanjar are anchored at Vishakhapatnam to join in the relief efforts at short notice.

The state revenue department said, once the immediate relief works are over, assessment of damages to crops, livestock and infrastructure would begin.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Chief Minister EK Palaniswami over phone on the situation arising out of the cyclone. Mr Modi has assured Mr Palaniswami of all possible help from the Centre. In a tweet, Mr Modi yesterday said, his thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives due to the cyclone in various parts of the state. He also wished for the quick recovery of the injured.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also called up the Chief Minister and enquired about the damages.

The Chief Minister has announced an ex-gratia of ten lakh rupees each for the families of those killed, one lakh rupees for the grievously injured and 25,000 for those with minor injuries.

Meanwhile, the Cyclone Gaja has weakened into a depression and moved into the South East Arabian Sea by traveling through central Kerala. The MeT department has predicted rain at most places in Kerala and Lakshadweep for the next 24 hours. Fishermen have been asked to avoid the South East Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep for the next two days as the sea would be rough.

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