Description of the disaster
The cyclone Gaja has set the tone towards the end of North East monsoon in India. A low pressure intensified into a cyclone made its landfall during the early hours on 16 November 2018 had hit six districts in the southern state, Tamil Nadu, namely Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Dindigul and Ramnad. The wind speeds reached as high as 120 kmph during its landfall. A major disaster was averted due to the elaborate preparedness measures taken by the government supported by the civil society organizations. Approximately 150,000 vulnerable people were evacuated to relief camps along the coastal areas and fishermen were not allowed to go fishing.
Despite elaborate preparedness measures, the wind speed and heavy rains have caused deaths, damages to houses and public infrastructure.
Most of the areas were not accessible due to fallen trees and uprooted electricity poles along the roads. Government authorities are working round the clock to restore electricity in the affected districts. The roof tops of the houses blew away due to the wind speed and most of these houses could not withstand the wind speed and fully destroyed as many of them are modest thatched homes. Currently, all these people are living in the relief camps. The electricity was cut off and is starting to be restored as of November 21st. As reports coming in, people used oil-based generators to pump water.