Cyclone Gaja HIGHLIGHTS: 33 killed; fishermen advised not to venture into Arabian Sea for next two days

Cyclone Gaja HIGHLIGHTS: 33 killed; fishermen advised not to venture into Arabian Sea for next two days

Cyclone Gaja makes landfall in Tamil Nadu: IMD predicts heavy to very heavy rainfall over Lakshadweep during the next 24 hours. Follow HIGHLIGHTS here.

Cyclone Gaja LIVE updates:
Cyclone Gaja HIGHLIGHTS: A view of the damage caused by cyclone ‘Gaja’, after it hit Velankanni, in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, Friday. (PTI Photo)

Cyclone Gaja turned into a deep depression over southeast Arabian Sea on Saturday evening. It is likely to intensify further into a cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very heavy rains in Lakshadweep Islands in the next 24 hours.

Chennai Met Department has also issued warning to Tamil Nadu fishermen and advised them not venture into the Arabian Sea for the next two days.

At least 33 people were killed and over 82,000 others were affected after Cyclone ‘Gaja’ hit the Tamil Nadu coast early Friday. The cyclonic storm ripped through Nagapattinam, uprooting trees and snapping power lines in coastal districts. The rescued people have been sheltered in 471 relief centres in six districts including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur.

See photos | Thousands evacuated as Cyclone Gaja wreaks havoc in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

CM Palaniswami has announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund for the families of the deceased. He also said that relief work will be taken up on a war-footing and that the work was already underway, PTI reported. He alleged that the Centre did not sanction funds which the state had sought for management of natural disasters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the bereaved families of the victims and assured all possible assistance.

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Cyclone 'Gaja' made landfall in Tamil Nadu Friday causing heavy rainfall across districts in the state and Puducherry. Follow HIGHLIGHTS. Read latest news in Tamil, Malayalam.

JP Nadda assures Tamil Nadu of all possible help from Centre

Union Health Minister JP Nadda spoke to Tamil Nadu Health Minister and assured all possible help from Centre, reported ANI.

Chidambaram asks Rajnath Singh to send team to Tamil Nadu to assess damage

Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to send a team of officers immediately to inspect the extent of damage caused by Gaja in Tamil Nadu. The former union home and finance minister also requested Singh to modify the practice of sending inter-ministerial team to a disaster-affected state only after receiving a memorandum from the concerned state government, reported PTI. He said this takes at least 2-3 weeks and full impact of the disaster is not measurable because of repair and restoration work, reported PTI.

IMD issues warning to Tamil Nadu fishermen.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issues warning to Tamil Nadu fishermen.

Chennai Met Department advises fishermen to not venture into Arabian Sea for next two days

Chennai MET department has issued alert for fishermen at the west coast, reported ANI. S Balachandran of Chennai Met Department has advised them not to venture into southeast Arabian Sea & Lakshadweep area on November 17 and 18 and into west Arabian Sea on November 18 and 19.

Pondicherry CM apprises Centre of damage caused in Karaikal

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Saturday said he has apprised the Centre of the damage caused by the cyclone Gaja in Karaikal, reported PTI. He said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had contacted him over phone on Friday to know the extent of damage the Union Territory suffered. "An interim relief would be sought along with an interim report on the damage the cyclone has caused in Karaikal," Narayanasamy told PTI. To a query on the amount of relief sought from the Centre, he said, "A detailed report was getting ready and it would be sent to the Centre on Monday."

Panneerselvam promises compensation to sufferers

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam too tweeted that compensation will be provided to the sufferers after the special team calculates the amount of damage caused to them by the cyclone.

Cyclone forms deep depression over SE Arabian Sea

TNSDMA said Cyclone Gaja has transformed into a deep depression over southeast Arabian Sea. The Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Ministry of Defence and Indian Air Force have been requested to guide the Tamil Nadu fishing vessels in  Arabian Sea to safety.

Tamil Nadu CM to announce compensation after survey of losses: Fisheries minister Jayakumar

Tamil Nadu fisheries minister D Jayakumar said the survey of boats and crops damaged by the storm has already been started. Once the survey is complete, the chief minister will announce compensation for those who have suffered losses due to the cyclone, he added.

At least 35 people were killed in the severe cyclonic storm Gaja that battered Tamil Nadu coast Friday. (SHABBIR AHMED/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.)

Cyclone Gaja: Four feared dead in landslides at Kodaikanal

Four construction workers were feared killed after being trapped in landslides triggered by heavy rains at Chinnapallam near Kodaikanal. Efforts were on to retrieve the bodies said the police. (PTI)

Cyclone Gaja crosses over to Arabian Sea, heavy rains forecast for Lakshadweep

As cyclone gaja crosses over to the Arabian Sea, heavy rains are predicted for Lakshadweep Islands in the next 24 hours. The cyclone lays centered 40 Kms east of Lakshadweep forming into a deep depression.

Cyclone Gaja crosses over to Arabian Sea and lays centered over Lakshadweep

Helpline numbers to contact in case of emergency

MK Stalin surveys the cyclone affected areas in Tamil Nadu

DMK leader MK Stalin visited the cyclone-affected area and distributed relief materials to the people.

P Chidambaram wants officials to take stock of the damage caused by Cyclone Gaja

Cyclone Gaja leaves trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu

Aftermath of Cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu. (SHABBIR AHMED/via REUTERS)

Cyclone Gaja death toll rises to 35: AIADMK

Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi road in Tamil Nadu reopens

Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi road in Tamil Nadu reopened earlier this morning after remaing closed for three days due to Cyclone Gaja. (ANI)

Centre assures all assistance to state

CM Palaniswami said that the state government, after completing assessment of damage to properties and crops, will approach the Centre for assistance. The Centre has promised the state government all assistance to deal with the situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister K Palaniswami and learnt about the situation, an official release said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh issued directions to monitor the situation in Tamil Nadu and to provide all help to the state administration. “Assured all possible assistance from the Centre in mitigating the situation arising due to cyclone. Asked the HS to monitor the situation & provide all help to the state admin,” Singh tweeted.

CM's announces monetary relief for people injured in the calamity

Gusty winds due to the cyclonic storm resulted in hundreds of trees and electricity poles being uprooted in Nagapattinam and Karaikal districts. According to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, about 12,000 electric poles, 102 sub-power stations, 495 power conductors, 100 transformers and 500 km of power lines had been damaged across seven districts.

As many as 405 mobile ambulances have been dispatched to treat those affected by the cyclone. For those with major injuries, Chief Minister’s General Relief Fund will provide Rs 1 lakh as compensation while those with minor injuries will be given Rs 25,000, the government announced.

The government has deputed a special team to assess damage to boats, crops and properties. Some 82,000 people were evacuated to 471 relief centres before the cyclone hit.

Heavy rains predicted for southern parts of TN and central Kerala: IMD

After hitting Tamil Nadu’s delta region, the Indian Meteorological Department said, the cyclonic storm moved westwards and lay centred at 8.30 am on Friday over interior Tamil Nadu, leading to heavy rain in southern parts of the state and parts of central Kerala bordering Tamil Nadu.

State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said all fishermen from the state were safe as they were alerted in advance. The government was trying to bring back 22-odd fishermen whose boats drifted towards Sri Lankan waters in the heavy storm.

A total of 173 boats reached the Lankan coast and at least 120 were damaged. DMK leader and Leader of Opposition in Assembly M K Stalin has appreciated the efforts of the state disaster management team and relief measures taken by the state government.

PM Modi assures assistance to combat disaster

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K Palaniswami, regarding the current situation in Tamil Nadu and assured all possible help to combat the disaster from the Centre.

PM Narendra Modi expresses condolences to victims' families

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the families of those who died in Cyclone Gaja on Friday.

Dredger runs aground off Karaikal coast

A dredger that was anchored in Karaikal port ran aground due to the strong winds on Friday, reported PTI. However, no casualties were reported. The dredger 'Veera Prem' belongs to Mumbai-based Mercator Ltd and was dragged for about 60 km from the port before it ran aground, officials told PTI.

Deep depression over Tamil Nadu moves towards southwest over central Kerala

TNSDMA tweeted that the deep depression over Tamil Nadu has moved towards west and southwest over central Kerala and is likely to emerge into southeast of Arabian Sea in next 12 hours.

TNSDMA carries out disaster management

Collective disaster management carried out by TNSDMA along with local workers as disaster response team in Swamimalai, Thanjavur district.

Technical textile manufacturing unit damaged

A unit of technical textiles manufacturer, SRF, located in Viralimalai, Tamil Nadu, has been damaged by Cyclone Gaja, reported PTI.

Catholic Bishops' Conference of India expresses solidarity with sufferers

The Catholic Church has expressed solidarity with the victims and has pledged to lend support to the government in its efforts towards disaster management. According to  Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, the areas which are badly affected are located in Diocese of Thanjavur and Archidiocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore. The districts of Nagapattinam,  Pudukottai and Pattukottai are the worst-affected regions. 

TNSDMA issues warning to fishermen

Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA) has issued warning to Tamil Nadu fishermen for the next 24 hours valid from 6pm on Friday.  It has said winds will blow at speeds ranging from 30-40kmph to 50kmph over southeast Arabian sea, along Kerala coast, Comorian area and Gulf of Mannar.

A statue of Jesus Christ in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu, partially damaged in cyclone

A partially-damaged statue of Jesus Christ at Velankanni in cyclone-hit Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. (Reuters photo)

Visuals of Thiruvarur's Kokaladi village hit by Cyclone Gaja

ANI shared visuals of Thiruvarur's Kokaladi village affected by Cyclone Gaja.

Centre did not sanction funds sought for natural disasters: Tamil Nadu CM

Tamil Nadu government Friday alleged that the Centre had not sanctioned funds it had sought for the management of natural disasters such as cyclones, reported PTI.  Chief Minister K Palaniswami said only a "specified" amount was sanctioned in the past which was also being used to meet the expenses of tackling natural disasters in the state.

Palaniswami's response came to reporters' queries on whether the Centre had acceded to Tamil Nadu's demand and released the entire amount for post Vardah relief activities in 2016, which was around Rs 22,000 crore, reported PTI.

Indian Coast Guard efforts ensured no fishermen died off Tamil Nadu coasts: Defence Minister

Defence Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman has published a summary of the efforts by Indian Coast Guard to tackle Cyclone Gaja. She also tweeted that the Indian Coast Guard efforts have ensured that no fishermen died of the Tamil Nadu coasts.

Thunderstorm and rain in Vellore, Salem, Villupuram, Thiruvannamalai, Madurai and Theni districts of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA) has predicted moderate thunderstorm along with rain in some areas of Vellore, Salem, Villupuram, Thiruvannamalai, Madurai and Theni districts of Tamil Nadu for the next three hours.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan issues public alert

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has posted a public alert on his Facebook page.

M K Stalin praises government for precautionary measures

DMK leader M K Stalin too praised the efforts of Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA) to tackle the flood situation in the state. The main opposition praising a government body, especially for its work during a natural disaster is rare, reported PTI.

M K Stalin, in his tweet, said the way TNSDMA took precautionary measures for the cyclone is praiseworthy.

Kamal Haasan thanks government of Tamil Nadu

Actor, and now politician, Kamal Hasan also thanked the Tamil Nadu government in his tweet applauding the rescue operations.

Strong winds, rain likely in Kerala

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has tweeted that the 'Gaja' cyclonic storm is likely to cause rainfall in most districts in the state.  Kerala is also expected to experience strong winds with speeds from 30-40 km per hour to 50 km per hour.

Nagapattinam district has been heavily damaged: CM E Palaniswamy

Cyclone Gaja makes landfall, heavy rains lash Tamil Nadu, Puducherry. Follow LIVE UPDATES:

Cyclone Gaja, named by Sri Lanka, is the second cyclone to hit the coastal area in a month after Cyclone Titli wreaked havoc in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on October 11, killing a total of 70 people. The severe cyclonic storm, with wind speeds of 175 km per hour, uprooted thousands of electricity and telecommunication poles, devastated coconut and cashew orchards, and flattened standing crops.

Four teams each of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have been deployed in Nagapattinam district, while two teams of the state disaster response force in Cuddalore district. Tamil Nadu state disaster management authority had released an animated video aimed at creating awareness on the do's and don'ts during cyclone.

Earlier, the CWC had advised action as per the Standard Operating Procedure as heavy rainfall in catchment areas could fill up the dams fast in less than 24 hours. Mobile operators have assured to move 'Cell on Wheels,' mobile platforms to provide uninterrupted mobile connectivity to Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts.

The government has also held discussions with oil marketing companies and they have been advised to maintain sufficient fuel stock.

Read | Cyclone Gaja: Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy holds review meeting in Karaikal

(Inputs from PTI)