Cyclone Gaja which crossed Tamil Nadu’s coast early Friday, has claimed 20 lives, says a press release issued by the Tamil Nadu government on Friday. The severe cyclonic storm slammed into the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranniyam bringing with it heavy rain, and causing severe damage to communication and power infrastructure, mainly in Nagapattinam district.
Speaking to reporters at Salem, Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami said relief work will be taken up on a war-footing and that the work was already underway.
The Tamil Nadu CM also announced that the families of the deceased will be provided a solatium of Rs 10 lakh each from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund (CMPRF).
Over 80,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas and have been moved into more than 470 relief centers in six districts, and fishermen were warned to stay away from the sea.
A holiday has been declared for educational institutions in Nagapattinam.