Tragedy struck in the wee hours of Friday, November 16. Coastal and delta districts in Tamil Nadu were witness to the devastation of Gaja, a severe cyclonic storm, that left in its wake, a trail of destruction across Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Trichy, Pudukkottai, Dindigul and Puducherry.
Hundreds of thatched-roof homes were blown to smithereens by gale winds. Tile-roof homes collapsed on themselves, barely leaving its occupants unhurt. Trees and electric poles were uprooted, making muddied roads and streets unmotorable.
A week after the tragedy, villages and hamlets that were worst-hit by the cyclone, are still picking up the pieces. Awaiting a visit by authorities, several local communities have pooled in labour and resources to clear roadways, buy essential supplies and rebuild homes.
TNM captures the devastation in images:
All pictures by Manasa Rao