Cyclone Gaja: Tamil Nadu govt declares holiday for schools and colleges

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New Delhi : The Tamil Nadu government has announced that all schools and colleges in six districts should remain close on November 15 due to cyclone 'Gaja'. It is likely that there may be landfall said RB Udhayakumar, Revenue Minister, here on Wednesday.

In terms of preventive measures by the government, Udhayakumar said the Meteorological Department had warned that the cyclone had moved on West and South-West direction at the rate of 10 km per hour and it lay over about 490 km distance East of Chennai and 580 km distance East and North-East of Nagapattinam

The cyclone is likely to get more intense after moving towards West and South West direction in the next 12 hours. Later, the cyclone will make landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore. Due to the cyclone, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram districts will get heavy rain on November 15 (today). Hence, a holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in these districts. Gale wind at 100 km per hour is likely to hit Northern coastal of Tamil Nadu.

The fishermen and people nearby the sea have been instructed to stay safe. The meteorological department had also stated that sea water intrusion may occur to a height of one metre in low-lying areas of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram districts. Huts, electricity and telecom service cable may be damaged, and trees may get uprooted, he said. The department recommended precautionary measures which include that fishermen should not venture into sea, fishermen who are in mid sea should return to the shore and people who are living in huts in the coastal areas should move to safer places.

As a preventive step, the petroleum outlets have been instructed to store enough stock at their outlets, telecom service providers have assured that they will stock enough quantity of fuel for generators for 15 days at headquarters to ensure uninterrupted communication service while it has been stocked at least for five days in areas likely to be affected. Telecom service providers have assured to move the “Cell on wheels” to Cuddalore and Nagapattinam district to ensure uninterrupted service. The facilities have been done to send bulk SMS to a large number of people to spread IMD warnings from state emergency control room.