Gaja Cyclone Chennai: Authorities on high-alert as Cyclone Gaja is expected to hit the coast tonight.
Chennai: Gaja Cyclone Chennai: Cyclone Gaja is expected to hit the coast near Nagapattinam in southern Tamil Nadu tonight. Schools and colleges in five districts in the state and Puducherry are closed today. As it approaches the coast, "Gaja", which means elephant in Sanskrit, is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds in coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The Navy has been put on high alert to be ready for any assistance. Fishermen in the region have been asked to not venture out to the sea.
Here are the top 10 updates on Cyclone Gaja
- The weather office said Gaja will intensify into a "Severe Cyclonic Storm" today before it weakens and hits the coast between Pamban and Cuddalore. It moved further west-southwestwards with a speed of 22 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centred at 11:30am over Southwest Bay of Bengal.
- Ten teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on stand-by and 6,000 relief centres have been set up across Tamil Nadu. NDRF teams have been put on alert in Puducherry, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar too.
- As of last night, Gaja was 480 km away Nagapattinam and 410 km away from Chennai.
- The Met department said it would intensify this afternoon and weaken before making a landfall.
- 30,500 rescue personnel were on stand-by, the Tamil Nadu government said.
- The weather office has said that low-lying areas of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts are likely to be inundated when Cyclone Gaja hits the coast.
- Communication, power lines and crops could be affected due to Gaja, the Met department said.
- Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister RB Udayakumar said that dams, lakes and river channels were being monitored continuously.
- The minister said that mobile operators have assured to move 'Cell on Wheels,' mobile platforms to provide uninterrupted mobile connectivity to Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts.
- Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy took stock of the situation yeseyrday and met with officials to review the Union Territory's preparedness.
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