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Agricultural labourers from Kannithoppu village of Nagapattinam district rush to collect food materials from private relief workers. 

(Photo Courtesy: Tamizh Prabhagaran)

Lest We Forget in 2019, Cyclone Gaja Caused Great Damage in TN

The road to recovery is long in the Cauvery Delta region.

My Report
3 min read

On 16 November, Cyclone Gaja hit the Cauvery Delta Region, popularly known as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, and Puthukottai districts witnessed severe damages due to the cyclone.

According to the government report, 65 people were killed, over 2.5 lakh people displaced, 1.34 lakh electric poles damaged, about 50 lakh coconut trees uprooted, and more than 50,000 huts completely damaged because of the cyclone.

More than a month has passed since, but the people who rely on agriculture are still struggling to get back to normal life. In some manner, the people have even compared Gaja with the Tsunami of 2004. Hence, 2018 is a unforgettable year for the Cauvery Delta community.

On a trip to the Cauvery Delta as a part of a documentary project, I tried to capture the damage in photographs to understand how the cyclone ravaged the place.

This region was heavily affected by the Gaja cyclone, with hundreds of people living in temporary shelters.

“Teak and other valuable trees, which used to cost more than Rs 20,000, are now getting priced at a few hundreds bucks. It does not even help to clear the farm land,” one of the farmers said.

During the cyclone, the wall of Ramamoorthy’s house in Sundarpandiyam village collapsed and fell on Abinaya’s right hand. Upon being admitted to a government hospital, they learned that she had fractured it.

Despite all this time, the road to recovery is long in the Cauvery Delta region.

(The author is working as a Migration Correspondent with the International Migration Project, and has prior experience of working with prominent Tamil media concerns. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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