Cyclone Gaja claims 13 lives in India

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/11/16 17:36:59

At least 13 people died and around 76,000 others have been evacuated in southern India, as the cyclonic storm Gaja made landfall there on Friday.

As a precautionary measure, schools, colleges and educational institutions have been closed for the day.

According to English daily The Times of India, extensive damage has been reported from the coastal district of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu.

According to officials, wind hit the coast with a speed of around 120 kmph.

"The eye of the storm began to make the landfall by 0:30 a.m. (local time) today and took about two hours to move into the land terrain completely," a meteorology department official said.

"It will take a few more hours to get inside the land fully. Therefore, the wind is still persisting in most parts of Nagapattinam district and its adjoining areas."

The severe cyclone, according to officials, will take several hours to weaken into a cyclone and then into a depression.

"It is set to reach the Arabian sea via mid-western Tamil Nadu and Kerala by tomorrow," the official said.

Reports said 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.

Authorities have closed educational institutions in several districts on Friday as a precautionary measure.

Officials said disaster response force personnel who have been deployed in the vulnerable districts to carry out rescue work were clearing roads of fallen trees.


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