Cyclone Gaja: Death toll rises to 45


Cyclone Gaja

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has appealed to leaders of all political parties to take part in the relief activities in the districts affected by the cyclone Gaja. Palaniswami also said that, so far, 45 persons have lost their lives due to the natural calamity.

He said the relief operations were going on a war footing and state ministers have been provided in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Pudukottai to monitor it. The state government is collecting information about areas which have been badly affected by the cyclone, Palaniswami told reporters here.

“In villages, lots of trees and standing crops have been damaged, affecting the livelihood of farmers. The extent of damage is being calculated,” he commented.

The Tamil Nadu government has announced a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to the family of each of the demised from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund (CMPRF). Those with severe injuries would be granted with Rs 1 lakh each while those whose injuries are not grievous in nature would get Rs 25,000 compensation.

Palaniswamistated that 1.7 lakh trees have been uprooted, 735 cattle have died, 1.17 lakh houses have been damaged and 88,102-hectare agricultural land has been affected in coastal districts.

Around 2.50 lakh people were granted accommodation in 483 relief camps. In addition to these provisions, the state’s Chief Minister also said that 1,014 mobile medical vans have been established and so far one lakh people in affected areas have benefited from it.

Noting that 39,938 electric poles and 347 transformers were effected in the affected districts, he said 12,532 men of the state electricity board have been dispatched to take up the repair work. Giving Answer to a question, Palaniswami urged all political leaders and people to extend a helping hand in this time of need.

“It is a natural calamity. There should not be any differences like the opposition, ruling party in taking up relief operations. I appeal to everyone to assist the affected people,” he said.

When asked about the possibilities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tamil Nadu, he said the state government has informed the Centre about the damage done by the cyclone. With regards to the Army’s assistance, Palaniswami stated, “As of now officials and ministers have been directed to visit the affected places. If needed we will seek assistance from the Centre.”

“Presently, were are facing challenges in removing uprooted trees and replacing the damaged electricity poles,” he commented. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam visited Nagapattinam and said relief work in the affected districts were underway and normalcy would be restored soon.

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