Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu) [India], Nov 14 (ANI): The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday announced that all schools in Cuddalore and Rameswaram will remain shut on Thursday as cyclone Gaja gathers strength in the Bay of Bengal. Also Read - Kerala Tourism Industry Hit Due to Re-surge in Coronavirus Cases, Businesses Complain of Losses

Speaking to media, Cuddalore District Collector V Anbuselvan said, “All private and government schools in Cuddalore to remain closed tomorrow due to cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’.” Also Read - Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Tests Positive for COVID-19, Condition Stable

Cyclone Gaja is expected to make a landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore tomorrow. In an attempt to mitigate damage to properties and human lives, the state administration headed by chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has planned to evacuate around 20,000 people residing on the coastal line and moving them to relief camps. Also Read - No Dream is Too Big: Rahul Gandhi Gives Airplane Tour to Kerala Boy Who Wants to Become a Pilot | Watch Video

For the safety of the people, the state government has also formed 19 interdepartmental zonal teams for the rescue operations. These teams have been comprised of several officers from important departments such as police, fire, Public Works Department, Electricity Department,etc.

Not only Tamil Nadu, states liked Andhra Pradesh and union territory Puducherry are 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 next couple of days.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red warning, the highest category which denotes “take action”, for the eastern coastal regions on November 15, stating that the cyclonic storm that originated in the Bay of Bengal will likely intensify into a severe one in the next 24 hours. “Gale wind speeds could reach up to 100kmph along and off the coasts of north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,’ the IMD said.

With heavy to extremely heavy rainfall predicted in Tamil Nadu, southern coastal Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, fishermen have also been warned not to venture into the sea. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.