Updated: May 20, 2021 7:03:49 am
WITH 53 people killed in Gujarat as Cyclone Tauktae left a trail of destruction across several districts in the state, and damages estimated at over Rs 3,000 crore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas and announced a relief package of Rs 1,000 crore for immediate relief activities.
He also announced ex gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those injured. At least 23 women were among the dead as the cyclone damaged hundreds of houses and roads, uprooted electric poles and trees.
Officials said the maximum toll was from Amreli, where 16 people were killed. Nine people were killed in Gir Somnath where the cyclone made landfall on Monday night, eight in Bhavnagar, seven in Ahmedabad, three each in Kheda and Panchmahal, and one each in Rajkot, Surat, Navsari, Anand, Vadodara, Valsad and Patan.
Officials said the Central Government will deploy an inter-ministerial team, which will visit the state to assess the extent of damage caused by the cyclone.
According to preliminary estimates, the power sector was the worst hit with nearly 70,000 electric poles flattened and lines of major power substations damaged. Power outages were reported from more than 9,600 villages, with the government saying it has restored supply in over 5,400. The worst affected villages were along the coastal areas of Bhavnagar, Amreli, Jamnagar, Gir Somnath.
An initial survey has found that 1,505 pucca private houses have been damaged and 635 livestock killed, sources said. Besides, they said, at least 370 government buildings and nearly 30,000 other houses have been affected across the state.
The Prime Minister’s aerial survey covered the three worst-affected districts of Gir Somnath (Una), Amreli (Jafrabad) and Bhavnagar (Mahua) in Gujarat and the Union Territory of Diu.
Later, he chaired a meeting in Ahmedabad to review the relief and rehabilitation measures. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who accompanied the PM on the aerial survey, and senior officials, including chief principal secretary to the CM, K Kailashnathan, and chief secretary, Anil Mukim.
“The PM announced a financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore, for immediate relief activities, to Gujarat. Subsequently, the Union Government will deploy an inter-ministerial team to visit the state to assess the extent of damage in the state, based on which further assistance will be given,” a government statement said.
“The damage will be well beyond Rs 3,000 crore, which is only for the Energy and Roads & Buildings departments. The extent of damage will be known after a survey is conducted on damage to the agriculture sector,” said a senior government official.
The PM, meanwhile, has assured assistance for rebuilding of infrastructure in the affected areas. During his visit, he also took stock of the Covid situation.
Rupani, meanwhile, announced that he will visit the cyclone-affected areas after holding an aerial survey on Thursday.
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