Over 30 killed as cyclone Gaja pounds Tamil Nadu

Over 30 killed as cyclone Gaja pounds Tamil Nadu

The casualties, caused as a result of either wall collapse or uprooting of trees, are reported in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Adiramapattinam,  Thiruchitrambalam, Orathanadu, Melattur and Peravurani districts. (Image source: Twitter/@Mari30433373.jpg)

Cyclone Gaja ripped through Nagapattinam on Friday, uprooting trees and snapping power lines, leaving a trail of destruction in coastal districts, besides claiming over 30 lives and flooding standing crops.

The cyclonic storm crossed Tamil Nadu’s coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam on Friday, bringing in heavy rains in the coastal regions. Winds gusting up to 120 kmph uprooted trees, snapped electric cables and blew off roofs.

According to official sources, over 30 people were killed in six districts while 28 head of cattle perished in cyclone-related incidents. The authorities have evacuated as many as 81,948 people to 471 relief centres in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Tiruvarur districts.



The storm caused heavy damage to the 16th century Shrine Basilica at Velankanni in Nagapattinam district. Due to gusty winds, the rood cross on top of the church broke and fell. The church is built in accordance with Gothic architecture. Authorities said the 75ft tall stone statue of Jesus Christ erected in front of the ‘Morning Star Church’ in the town sustained structural damage.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami sanctioned Rs 10 lakh to the kin of those who died.



State-owned Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation’s field assets including 13,025 electricity poles, 13 local distribution transformers, and 1,000 cables were damaged in rain-related incidents.

Heavy rains in districts, including Tiruvarur and Thanjavur, have come as a boon to Tamil Nadu which was staring at a rainfall deficit during the monsoon season which commenced October 1

Meanwhile, Southern Railways has cancelled train services to Velankanni in Nagapattinam district and the Rameswaram island due to the cyclone. It also diverted many trains passing through Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox