Chennai: Cyclone Gaja which hit Tamil Nadu and has claimed at least 33 lives until now has moved westwards and also weakened at the depression, said Chennai MET Department Director S Balachandran. As per the state MET department, Gaja has moved westwards into Kerala coast (region) and merged into the Arabian Sea. It intensified into a deep depression on Saturday morning around 11:30 AM. Also Read - 22-Year-Old Student Dies After Walking 450km from Wardha to Reach Home in Tamil Nadu Amid Lockdown
“This deep depression is expected to intensify further by today evening and move further westwards. Fishermen advised not to venture into the southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep area on November 17 and 18 and into the west Arabian Sea on November 18 and 19,” said Balachandran. Also Read - Watch | This Innovative Tunnel in Tamil Nadu's Tiruppur Disinfects As You Walk Along It
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami confirmed the death toll today and said that as many as 20 men, 11 men and two children died due to the cyclone. The cyclone wreaked havoc in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts, damaging houses, huts and crops. Palaniswami said about 70 livestock and several goats, poultry and deer have also died due to the cyclone. Some 1,27,000 trees were uprooted by the strong cyclonic winds that touched a maximum speed of about 120 kmph, the Chief Minister added.
He said supplies of water, milk and food were being distributed to the people affected by the calamity. About 177,500 people are staying in 351 relief camps in the cyclone-affected areas
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to depute a team of two officers immediately to inspect the extent of damage caused by cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu.
The former union home and finance minister also requested Singh to modify the practice of sending the inter-ministerial team to a disaster-affected state only after receiving a memorandum from the concerned state government.