Chennai: Though cyclone Gaja’s landfall got delayed by more than half-a-day from the earlier forecast, it refrained from weakening and caused maximum destruction throughout its course from late last night to the wee hours of today.
Met department said though the severe storm has weakened thereafter, it will still give scattered very heavy rainfall over south Tamilnadu especially in the Ghat regions.
Not only that, a new low pressure will also be forming over Bay of Bengal this Sunday.
Speaking to reporters today, RMC ACWC Director S Balachandran, said, “Severe cyclonic storm Gaja weakened into a depression today forenoon. It is currently stationed near Dindigul and is moving with a speed of 23 kmph towards Kerala. In wake of this, scattered heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur over South Tamilnadu and isolated heavy rain is also likely to occur over North Tamilnadu and Puducherry. Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Karur, Tiruchi, Namakkal districts will receive heavy rainfall today. A new low pressure will be forming over Bay of Bengal this Sunday. Fishermen can venture into sea today but they shouldn’t go between 18 and 20 November.” This aside there has also been reports pouring in about the formation of cyclone Fani on 29 November.
“As far as Chennai is considered, in the last 24 hours, Meenambakkam and Nungambakkam recorded a maximum rainfall of 0.65 and 0.2 cm. Maximum and minimum temperatures were 31.2 and 26.3 degrees Celsius which were up to 4 degrees Celsius higher than normal. In the next 24 hours, sky condition is likely to be generally cloudy. One or two spells of rain or thundershower is likely to occur,” a Met official said.
During the cyclone’s landfall, wind speeds reportedly reached up to 111 Kmph with Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai Districts bearing maximum brunt of the situation. So far, 15 people have lost their lives. Speaking to reporters today, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced Rs 10 lakh relief for each of their families. Those who have been greviously injured will receive Rs one lakh and those with minor injuries will receive Rs 25,000.
“I will be personally visiting the affected areas. People need not be afraid as everything will be brought back to normalcy. We will be seeking Centre’s aid,” he said. He also ordered for restoration process to take place war-footing.
Over 13,000 electric poles and 5,000 trees got uprooted on the course of the storm. Revenue and Disaster Management Minister R B Udhayakumar said government is in the process of restoring electricity connection in the affected areas.
As gusty winds prevailed in Tiruchi today morning, Air India services to the town from Chennai got halted.
A total of 81,948 affected people from 22,849 families have been stationed in 421 relief camps in six districts with 216 huts completed damaged State Disaster Management Department reported.
A total of 28 cattle have been reported dead. Virudhachalam resident Ayyammal (45) died after the walls of her house crumbled down following rains. Her husband Ramachandran sustained injury.