Cyclone Gaja: School holiday declared for 6 districts in Tamil Nadu on Thursday

As the cyclone is set to make landfall on November 15, district administrations in coastal areas have said they are prepared to provide relief measures.
Cyclone Gaja: School holiday declared for 6 districts in Tamil Nadu on Thursday
Cyclone Gaja: School holiday declared for 6 districts in Tamil Nadu on Thursday
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Six districts in Tamil Nadu — Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thiruvarur, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur — have announced a holiday for schools and colleges on Thursday, November 15, ahead of the onslaught expected to be caused by Cyclone Gaja.

According to the latest update by the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA), the cyclonic storm over west-central and adjoining east-central and south Bay of Bengal has moved west-southwestwards. As of 2 pm on Wednesday, it was about 490 km east of Chennai and 580 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall between Pamban in Ramanathapuram district and Cuddalore district.

Courtesy: National Weather Forecasting Centre, India Meteorological Department

“It is very likely to move west-southwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. While moving west-southwestwards further, it is likely to weaken gradually on 15th November and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore during 15th November evening as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 80-90 gusting to 100 kilometres per hour,” according to the India Meteorological Department bulletin issued at 2 pm on Wednesday.

According to the bulletin, low-lying areas in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, and Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry are likely to witness storm surge of about 1.0 meter above astronomical tide.

The bulletin is marked Orange, which corresponds to ‘Be prepared.’ It also clarified that the red colour warning stood for taking action; it does not mean red alert.

It further predicted that damage is expected over districts of Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts and Karaikal district of Puducherry.

“Major damage to thatched huts/houses, roof tops may blow off and unattached metal sheets may fly. Damage to power and communication lines. Major damage to Kutcha and minor damage to Pucca roads. Breaking of tree branches and uprooting of large avenue trees. Damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards. Sea water inundation in low lying area after erosion of Kutcha embankments,” the bulletin cautioned.

Fishermen have been advised to totally suspend fishing operation along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts till November 15.

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