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Cyclone Gaja: Strong winds, rainfall hit Nagapattinam

ANI | Updated: Nov 16, 2018 02:09 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Nov 16 (ANI): Cyclone Gaja has started making landfall in the south of Nagapattinam, with strong winds and rainfall being witnessed in the region.
The cyclonic storm will take one hour to fully cross from sea to land, Chennai's Meteorological Department (MeT) said on Friday. The department further said that the intensity of the wind will be less when the eye of cyclone falls on land, but will increase again gradually.
"Gaja Cyclone now lies at about 80 km southeast of Karaikal, moving at a rate of 16 kilometres per hour. It is expected to cross between Vedaranyam and Nagapattinam between 12 am-3 am. Within the next 1 hour, the eye of the cyclone is expected to touch the land. Winds speed is 100-120 kilometres per hour," Chennai MeT department Director Dr. S Balachandran told ANI.
However, the Tamil Nadu government has put its machinery in full alert in vulnerable districts to face the effects of the natural calamity.
"Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had instructed district administration, and so they are on alert at all places. There has not been a single incident. Cuddalore district has seen so many cyclones, so our preparation is very good," said Tamil Nadu minister MC Sampath.
He further revealed that around 29, 000 permanent cyclone shelters have been made and food is being provided to those who are residing in it. "There are 29,000 permanent cyclone shelters, 233 shelters made in schools, colleges and marriage halls. More than 5000 people are present in these shelters, food is being provided to them," the minister added.
The Indian Navy has also been put on alert for relief efforts. Two Indian Naval ships - Ranvir and Khanjar - are on standby to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, and logistic support, including the provision of medical aid.
In an attempt to mitigate damage to properties and human lives, the Palaniswami administration has planned to evacuate around 20,000 people residing on the coastal line and moving them to relief camps.
On Wednesday, Cuddalore District Collector V Anbuselvan, who visited the possible affected areas, had said all private and government schools in Cuddalore would remain closed due to the cyclonic storm.
Apart from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh is also bracing for the impact of the cyclone, which is likely to bring heavy downpour and strong winds to several parts of the region for the next couple of days. (ANI)