Nagapattinam: Eleven people have died in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district in the aftermath of cyclone Gaja, said ANI on Friday. Gaja crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranniyam early Friday with wind speed as high as up to 120 kmph, a weather bulletin said.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami confirmed the 11 deaths. Speaking to reporters at Salem, Palaniswami said relief work was already underway.  “The government has received information that so far 11 persons have died,” he said, without divulging further information.

He said the families of the deceased will be provided Rs 10 lakh each from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund (CMPRF). Those with severe injuries will be provided with Rs one lakh each while people who had sustained simple injuries will get Rs 25,000 as relief.  He said the damage was being assessed.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “I have spoken to Chief Minister K Palaniswami regarding the situation in cyclone-affected areas of Tamil Nadu. Assured all possible assistance from Centre in mitigating the situation arising due to the cyclone: Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority said as many as 76,290 people were evacuated from low lying areas and sheltered at over 300 relief centres in six districts, including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur.

Educational institutions would remain closed in Nagapattinam here. Four teams each of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have already been deployed in Nagapattinam while two teams of the state disaster response force were in Cuddalore district, officials said.

During the cyclone’s landfall, rains lashed Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, and Thanjavur, uprooting trees in several regions, the details of which are expected later in the day. Electricity supply was disconnected here and in several other coastal regions in view of the cyclone’s landfall.

An India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin said, “Though the centre of the cyclone is over land, the rear sector of the eye wall is still over the sea. It will take about an hour to move over land,” the IMD bulletin said at 3.15 AM.

ANI reported that apart from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh was also bracing for the impact of the cyclone, which was likely to bring downpour and strong winds to several parts of the region for the next couple of days.