Cyclone Gaja: Chennai Schools and Colleges to Be Shut Today

The administration in the coastal parts of Tamil Nadu is on high alert.

Updated22 Nov 2018, 08:13 AM IST
9 min read

Schools and colleges were shut in Tamil Nadu after the state has been brought to a halt due to heavy rainfall. In a bid to recover, the Tamil Nadu government has turned to Centre for financial aid of Rs 15,000 crore.

A severe cyclonic storm Gaja battered the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, 16 November, leaving at least 45 people and several livestock dead, and left a trail of destruction in several districts.

With the predicted formation of a depression over Bay of Bengal, the state of Tamil Nadu witnessed heavier rainfall till Wednesday, 20 November, The News Minute reported.

According to the state power utility, about 500 km of power supply lines were affected by Gaja.

  • The state government said a total of 2.50 lakh people have been housed in over 483 camps
  • 1,014 mobile medical vans have been set up and so far 1 lakh people in affected areas have benefited from it
  • A holiday has been declared for educational institutions in seven districts
  • Death toll due to Cyclone Gaja stood at 46


11:52 AM, 14 Nov

A Few Parts of Karnataka Expected to Witness Rain Showers

A Few places in southern Karnataka like Bengaluru and Mysuru are expected to received rain showers this week ahead of Cyclone Gaja.

11:41 AM, 14 Nov

Six Districts Could Witness Storm Surge: India Meteorological Department

A storm surge of about 1.0 metre above astronomical tide could be witnessed in low-lying areas in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry, said India Meteorological Department.

11:31 AM, 14 Nov

Cyclone Gaja Likely to Make Landfall on Thursday

According to the latest update by the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority, Cyclone Gaja is expected to make landfall around evening on Thursday, 15 November.

7:22 AM, 15 Nov

Yellow and Orange Alert in 6 Kerala Districts Ahead of Cyclone Gaja

Yellow alerts have been issued for Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki on 15 November, and Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Alappuzha on 16 November. Idukki will be on orange alert on the 16th, the News Minute reported.

According to tweets by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), Kerala could be expected to get heavy rainfall due to the cyclone, according to the IMD, due to which the alerts have been issued.

10:35 AM, 15 Nov

Gaja to Intensify Into Severe Cyclone

Cyclone 'Gaja' intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Thursday, 15 November, and is expected to cross the south Tamil Nadu coast by late this evening or night, with the government machinery put on high alert in vulnerable districts.

The storm which lay over the Southwest Bay about 285 km from here and 225 km east of Karaikal in neighbouring Puducherry was very likely to cross the coast between Cuddalore and Pamban around Nagapattinam by evening or Thursday night after weakening into a cyclone, the Met office said.

(Source: PTI)

11:01 AM, 15 Nov

Severe Cyclone Gaja To Make Landfall Near Nagapattinam in Evening

Severe Cyclone Gaja lying 260 km South East of Chennai and 180 km North East of Nagapattinam and likely to have landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore near Nagapattinam on evening of 15 November with the Wind Speed of 80 - 90 gusting to 100 kmph.

(Source: TN SDM)

11:14 AM, 15 Nov

NDMA Issues Dos and Don'ts Ahead of Cyclone

11:40 AM, 15 Nov

Gaja to Move Across Tamil Nadu Coast

Gaja is very likely to move west-southwestwards and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore, around Nagapattinam during late evening of on Thursday, 15 November, as a Cyclonic Storm with a wind speed of 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph.

(Source: IMD)

12:24 PM, 15 Nov

Storm Warning Issued in Low Lying Areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

IMD has issued warnings saying the sea condition is high over Bay of Bengal. "The sea condition is very likely to be high to very high along and off Tamil Nadu & Puducherry coast during next 18 hours," the statement said.

(Source: TN SDM)

1:06 PM, 15 Nov

Schools Closed in Three Districts in Tamil Nadu

Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Thanjavur districts have a local holiday on Friday, 16 November, so all schools and college will remain closed.

(Source: TN SDM)

1:15 PM, 15 Nov

Minister Urges People to Cooperate With Administration

Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management appeals to people in huts and low lying areas in Nagapattinam coast to cooperate with administration and shift to Multipurpose Evacuation Shelters/Cyclone Shelters.

(Source: TN SDM)

1:43 PM, 15 Nov

Red Alert in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

Severe Cyclone Gaja lying 150 km east of Nagapattinam and likely to have landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore near Nagapattinam on evening of 15 November with the wind speed of 80 -90 kmph gusting up to 100 kmph.

(Source: TN SDM)

5:23 PM, 15 Nov

Thunder Clouds Build Up Over Nagapattinam

Gaja is around 80 km from the coast as thunder clouds build up over Nagapattinam, reports Skymet.

(Source: Skymet Weather)

7:00 PM, 15 Nov

'Our Preparation is Very Good': Tamil Nadu Minister

Speaking about the preparations made ahead of Cyclone ‘Gaja’ hitting the Tamil Nadu coast, state minister MC Sampath said the government’s preparation is “very good”.

“The Chief Minister had instructed the district administration, so they are on alert at all places. There has not been a single incident. Cuddalore district has seen so many cyclones, so our preparation is very good.”
Tamil Nadu minister MC Sampath
7:11 PM, 15 Nov

Eye of Cyclone 'Gaja' Set to Hit Tamil Nadu Coast

Regional director at Chennai MeT department S Balachandran indicated that the eye of Cyclone ‘Gaja’ is expected to touch the land in the next few minutes.

Shortly before 12 am, Balachandran said that the cyclone lay about 80 kms southeast of Karaikal, moving at a rate of 16 kmph.

“It's expected to cross between Vedaranyam and Nagapattinam between 12 am-3 am…Wind speed (of the cylone) is 100-120 kmph.”

7:53 PM, 15 Nov

Strong Winds and Rainfall Hit TN's Nagapattinam

2:32 AM, 16 Nov

Trees Uprooted, Houses Damaged in Nagapattinam

The effects of the cyclonic storm was felt in Nagapattinam after trees were uprooted and houses were damaged in the overnight rainfall.

5:35 AM, 16 Nov

76,000 Evacuated as Cyclone Gaja Makes Landfall in Coastal Tamil Nadu

Over 76,000 people were preemptively evacuated on Thursday, 15 November across Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, and Thiruvarur districts.

The cyclone, with winds of speeds up to 120 kmph, was upgraded to a severe cyclonic storm at the time of landfall. The eye of the cyclone entered land just past midnight at 12:30 am. Light to moderate thunderstorms were also experienced through the night in these districts.

(Source: The News Minute)

7:48 AM, 16 Nov

CM Announces Relief, Nagapattinam Worst-Hit

Eleven people have been killed and 81,948 evacuated in Tamil Nadu after Cyclone Gaja made landfall between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam early Friday, 16 November morning.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said, "Nagapattinam district has been impacted badly. We can say only to what extent other places are affected only after getting inputs from authorities." Promising to visit the affected areas, the CM also stated that Rs 10 lakhs would be given as compensation to the families of the deceased.

11:56 AM, 16 Nov

Kerala CM Announces Orange Alert

In a post published on Facebook, chief minister of Kerala issued an orange alert due IMD’s forecast of heavy rainfall in isolated places of Kerala.

“Orange Alert for Eranakulam, Kottayam and Idukki Districts and Yellow alert for Malappuram, Thrissur, Palakkad, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Kollam Districts on 16th Nov,” the post read.

“District Emergency Operations Centers kindly ensure that the concerned HODs have been informed about the current IMD’s Rainfall Alert,” it further added.

12:03 PM, 16 Nov

Defence Ministry Monitors Cycle Gaja in Southern India

In a tweet put out by Raksha Mantri – the official Twitter handle of Defence Minister of India, it was announced that Indian Coast Guard has taken proactive measures to prevent loss of lives due to Cyclone Gaja.

“Below is a summary of @IndiaCoastGuard efforts in Cyclone Gaja. Their efforts have resulted in NIL loss of lives of fishermen at sea, off the coast of Tamil Nadu,” the tweet read.

Announcement made by Coast Guard of India)
Announcement made by Coast Guard of India)
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter / Raksha Mantri)
4:02 PM, 16 Nov

PM Assures All Possible Assistance

My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives due to cyclonic conditions in parts of Tamil Nadu. I pray for the quick recovery of those injured. Officials are working towards providing all possible assistance in the wake of the cyclone.
PM Modi

“Spoke to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami regarding the situation arising due to cyclone conditions in the state. Assured all possible help from the Centre. I pray for the safety and well-being of the people of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

(Source: ANI)

3:41 AM, 17 Nov

Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi Road Reopens After 3 Days

The Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi road in Tamil Nadu, that was closed for three days due to Cyclone Gaja reopened to public earlier on Saturday, 17 November.

5:56 AM, 17 Nov

Indian Navy Joins State Authorities, NDRF to Clear Roads and Buildings Post Gaja

Indian Navy personnel joined the State Authorities, NDRF and civil populace on Saturday, 17 November, to clear public buildings and roads in Nagapattinam post Cyclone Gaja.

Two naval ships Chetlat and Cheriyam also arrived at Karaikal on Saturday morning carrying relief food material.

6:16 AM, 17 Nov

More Than 200 Doctors, Paramedical Staff Deployed: TN Health Secretary

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan on Saturday, 17 November, said that there has been large scale damage to houses, power infrastructure, crops, boats and trees in Nagapattinam.

“We’ve mobilised a lot of mobile and static camps, and chlorination is being done. More than 200 doctors and paramedical staff is present.”
Dr J Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary 
8:01 AM, 17 Nov

Chidambaram Asks MHA to Send Team to Assess Damage Caused by Gaja

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday, 17 November, 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 inter-ministerial team to a disaster-affected state only after receiving a memorandum from the concerned state government.


1:26 PM, 17 Nov

Death Toll in Cyclone Gaja Rises to 33

The death toll in cyclone 'Gaja' has touched 33 and left a trail of destruction across Tamil Nadu with 30,000 electricity poles and over a lakh trees getting uprooted, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said on Saturday, 17 November.

He maintained that the impact of cyclone was less as 82,000 people were evacuated to 471 relief centres well in advance. However, 20 men, 11 women and 2 boys died in cyclone related incidents, he said.

As of now, 1,77,500 people have been housed in over 351 camps, the chief minister said, adding food, and medical amenities were being provided to them by the government.

The Chief Minister, speaking to reporters at Vanavasi near Salem, said that cattle, including goats, and wild animals including deer, have perished.

(Source: PTI)

11:22 AM, 18 Nov

Death Toll Rises to 45, Tamil Nadu CM Asks all Leaders to Join Relief Ops

The toll in cyclone Gaja has touched 45, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said on Sunday, 18 November, and appealed to leaders of all political parties to take part in the relief activities.

Nearly 2.50 lakh people were provided accommodation in 483 relief camps. Besides, 1,014 mobile medical vans have been set up and so far one lakh people in affected areas have benefited from it, Palaniswami said.

Noting that 39,938 electric poles and 347 transformers were damaged in the affected districts, he said 12,532 men of the state electricity board have been despatched to take up the repair work.

(Source: PTI)

8:12 PM, 18 Nov

Fishermen in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry Advised Not to Venture Into Sea

IMD Department issues warning for fishermen in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry for next 24 hours.

The advisory said, on 19 November, the sea condition is likely to be rough over Bay of Bengal and adjoining Indian Ocean.

"Fishermen are advised not to venture into to the above areas during the period mentioned," IMD said.

5:56 AM, 19 Nov

DMK Announces Rs 1 Crore for Gaja Relief

The party MLAs have also pledged to donate one month’s salary for relief work. Interestingly, there is no mention of including this donation in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

7:06 AM, 20 Nov

Parts of Tamil Nadu To Witness Heavier Rainfall till Wed

With the predicted formation of a depression over Bay of Bengal, the state of Tamil Nadu is likely to witness heavier rainfall till Wednesday, 20 November, The News Minute reported.

According to the report, the IMD had stated on Monday, 18 November that the depression in the Bay of Bengal will intensify into a deep depression and move towards the coast of Tamil Nadu by Wednesday, bringing heavy to very heavy rains in the delta districts, namely Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Cuddalore, Sivagangai and Ramanathapuram.

11:59 AM, 20 Nov

Tamil Actors Rajinikanth, Vijay, Suriya Donate To Relief Fund

Popular Tamil actors such as superstar Rajinikanth, Vijay, Suriya and Vijay Sethupathi among others have come forward to donate to the cyclone Gaja relief fund.

As cyclone Gaja has wreaked havoc in nearly a dozen districts of Tamil Nadu and rescue operations are underway, members of the Tamil film fraternity have joined hands to do their bit.

Actor Suriya was among the first Tamil stars to come forward and lend support.

Suriya along with his father Sivakumar, brother Karthi and wife Jyotika have together donated a sum of Rs. 50 lakh as relief fund through various NGOs in the cyclone Gaja affected areas.

1:07 PM, 20 Nov

Karunanidhi's Ancestral House Damaged In Cyclone Gaja

The ancestral house of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi's family at Thirukuvalai village near here has suffered damage in the 'Gaja' cyclone, officials said Tuesday.

A tree in front of the house got uprooted and fell on the house damaging the tiled roof and a name board, they said.

The house is being maintained as a memorial and a library.

1:07 PM, 20 Nov

TN CM Visits Cyclone-hit Areas, Likely To Meet PM On Thursday

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday visited the districts hit by Cyclone Gaja, distributed relief materials among the affected people and said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this week to seek central assistance.

Even as life was limping back to normal five days after the cyclone that left 46 people dead, a fresh spell of rain hit parts of the Cauvery delta region, hampering relief work since this morning.

Palaniswami, accompanied by ministers, including deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, visited Pudukottai and Thanjavur districts in the morning and asserted that the relief work were being taken on a war-footing.

6:50 PM, 21 Nov

Collector Declares Holiday For Chennai Schools and Colleges

The Tamil Nadu government has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the district on 22 November in view of incessant rain and rainfall warning.

8:09 AM, 22 Nov

Tamil Nadu Turns to PM Modi for Aid

The Tamil Nadu government sought about Rs 15,000 crore on Thursday as central assistance towards relief and rehabilitation activities in Cyclone Gaja affected districts in the state.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi with a plea for central assistance for various sectors in the affected districts, the state government said here.

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Published: 14 Nov 2018, 12:16 PM IST

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