GR News Desk | New Delhi
Cyclone Gaja, characterised with 80-90 kmph gale-force winds, will make landfall in Tamil Nadu late on Wednesday night. Currently, over 135 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam, the cyclone is headed towards the coast of Tamil Nadu.
The tropical cyclone will cross between Cuddalore and Pamban in Ramanathapuram district with wind speed likely to intensify to 100 kmph. As predictions pour in the state government has made all preparation to aid the people in the area with several relief camps being set and coastal areas being evacuated. Skymet Weather has predicted heavy rainfall in the areas of Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukkottai, Tuticorin, Ramanathapuram of Tamil Nadu.
According to the forecast from Skymet, with landmass approaching, Gaja would very soon start encountering high vertical wind shear and low sea surface temperatures that would lead to the weakening of the system very soon. Gaja would make landfall at the South Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore, near Nagapattinam as a Cyclonic Storm only tonight. The wind speed along the coast have already picked up the pace and are presently around 30-40 kmph. At the time of landfall, squally winds would be around 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph.
The latest bulletin from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that sea condition is high over Southwest Bay of Bengal and is very likely to be high to very high along and off Tamil Nadu & Puducherry coast during next 18 hours.
Apart from Tamil Nadu, parts of Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and adjoining regions will also witness intermittent rainfall. Meanwhile, Kerala which was battered by rains during this monsoon season is also expected to receive showers on the southern side.
Relief measures in place
The Tamil Nadu government anticipating the cyclonic storm has already placed relief measures in place with over 30,000 rescue personnel on standby. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has also deployed its assets in the coastal region with two Indian Naval ships — Ranvir and Khanjar — standing by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid and distress relief. The forces have also deployed choppers, two Dornier aircraft for rescue and reconnaissance missions through the storm. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has initiated a series of preemptive and proactive measures to prevent the loss of lives of fishermen.
The state government has suspended all fishing operations along the northern coast of Tamil Nadu, Puduchhery and adjoining areas.