Death toll in cyclone Gaja rises to 45

Mon 19 Nov 2018, 11:33:25
The death toll in cyclone Gaja which battered coastal districts of Central Tamilnadu has mounted to 45. Addressing the press in Salem yesterday, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said, relief operations are continuing in full swing in the cyclone-affected districts. 

He said, the state administration has sent a tentative damage assessment report to the Centre and the detailed report is under preparation. He appealed to the Centre to send its team early to see for itself the extent of damages. 

Giving the breakup of damages as per the latest reports, the Chief Minister informed that nearly one lakh, 18-thousand houses have been damaged, and thousands of trees and electric poles were uprooted or broken. 

He said agricultural crops in more than 88-thousand one hundred hectares were destroyed in the districts through which the cyclone passed by. Mr Palaniswamy added that reports of more destruction are pouring in. 

The chief minister said about two lakh, 49-thousand people are

sheltered in relief camps. He said the electricity board staff are replacing uprooted poles on a war footing.

He said he could not visit the cyclone-ravaged Nagappattinam yesterday as announced earlier, saying the other programmes organized in and around Salem took much of the time. He assured that he would visit the affected places on Tuesday.

The State cabinet will meet in the secretariat at Fort St George in Chennai today to discuss the cyclone damages and relief packages. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam informed the press about the meeting in Nagapattinam yesterday after inspecting relief operations. 

As complaints are pouring in from several villages about non-availability of drinking water, Mr Panneerselvam said, the state water supply department is engaging 26 high power generators to fill overhead tanks for distribution. To overcome the shortage of milk in affected places, he said 2500 litres of milk and 2.5-ton milk powder would arrive soon. 

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