Cyclone Gaja: As Tamil Nadu braces for landfall on Thursday, fishermen warned against venturing near coast
The state government has put its machinery on alert and kept on standby around 30,500 rescue personnel. Also, teams of the National and State Disaster Response Forces are ready for deployment.
Meteorological officials have warned of cyclonic storm Gaja crossing the Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Pamban on 15 November and in turn, bringing heavy rainfall coupled with gale force winds. The state government has put its machinery on alert and kept on standby around 30,500 rescue personnel. Also, teams of the National and State Disaster Response Forces are ready for deployment.
Warning for fishermen
As the cyclone will cause winds of 35 kmph to 50 kmph, the India Meteorological Department has advised fishermen not to venture into the Andaman Sea for the next 12 hours. The IMD has also advised fishermen in the deep sea to return to the coast by Tuesday. The warning also said fisherman should not venture out to central and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal from 11 to 13 November and over southwest and adjoining the west-central Bay of Bengal from 12 November onwards, The Times of India reported.
High alert in Puducherry
Meanwhile, the neighbouring union territory of Puducherry, which is also covered by the cyclone alert, said it is on high alert as well and the that the govt is taking precautionary steps to meet the situation. The Puducherry government has set up a control room (toll-free 1070 or 1077) (0413 2253407 ) to enable the people to seek assistance in case of eventualities. People seeking assistance can reach the police department (100), fire and rescue services personnel (101), emergency services (108), electricity department (1912), transport department (1073) and coast guard (1554), the report says.
The IMD, however, has said that the system was likely to weaken gradually and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Pamban as a cyclonic storm on 15 November forenoon. It forecast rainfall at most places in Tamil Nadu on 14 November and extremely heavy (over 20 cm) in isolated places in northern parts of the state the next day. In its advisory, the IMD mentions that a storm surge of the height of about 1.0 meter is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry at the time of landfall. There is also a warning for major damage to thatched huts and houses. "Rooftops may blow off... damage to power and communication lines," it said adding standing crops could also be hit and cautioned seawater intrusion in low lying areas.
Citing the IMD forecast of heavy rains, the Central Water Commission issued an advisory to Tamil Nadu and Kerala authorities to maintain strict vigil at various dams which come under the "cyclone field" and are already 80 to 91 percent full.
Emergency helpline numbers
Appropriate arrangements have been made by authorities in the various risk-prone districts like Cuddalore, Villupuram and Ramanathapuram. For Cuddalore, 1077 is the emergency number whereas 04146-223265 and 04567-23065 emergency numbers are designated for citizens of Villupuram and Ramanathapuram respectively. Two teams have been deployed to man the phones round the clock during the cyclone, The News Minute reported.
Meanwhile, listing out measures taken to face the cyclone, Revenue Administration Commissioner K Satyagopal told reporters in Tirunelveli that medical teams were on standby in all districts.
With inputs from PTI
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