Image of Gaja Storm Track

2018 Cyclone Gaja

Humanity Road activated its disaster desk on Thursday November 15, 2018 in advance of landfall of Cyclone Gaja in India. This situation report number 1 provides helpful links and situational information based on early indications in social media.

Cyclone Gaja, which made landfall near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam in the wee hours of November 16, has claimed 45 lives across the state, according to a statement released by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Sunday. The cyclone, which went on to affect many other districts, including Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Dindigul and Trichy, created a huge loss of property. source

Health minister C Vijayabhaskar, a native of Pudukottai said the district has not faced such a monstrous cyclone since 1960. “In the last half a century, we have not seen such a ferocious cyclonic storm,” he said and appealed to the people to assist the rescue operations. source

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Situation Overview

As of November 18, 2018

  • “Over 800 people are staying in the camp at Thalainayar and it is not easy to get the food. Further, with just two toilets, people especially women are finding it difficult to to use them. We are not able to get drinking water. Children are crying for milk,” he said about the situation in the camp. However, chief minister Palaniswami has denied any shortage in either food supply or in amenities. “There is adequate supply of provisions and food is supplied properly,” he said. source

  • 347 electricity transformers have been destroyed and 3,559 kms of electricity transmission wires have been snapped in the cyclone, thereby cutting the power supply in the affected areas. A total of 12,532 officials from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board have been deputed on the ground to restore power. source

  • In order to help people with health issues, 372 medical camps and 1,014 mobile medical units have been set up in the affected regions. source

Significant Updates

18 Nov

  • Cyclone Gaja, has claimed 45 lives across the state, according to a statement released by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Sunday. The cyclone, which went on to affect many other districts, including Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Dindigul and Trichy, created a huge loss of property. source

  • 70 livestock and several goats, poultry and deer have also died due to the cyclone. Source

  • Supplies of water, milk and food were being distributed to the people affected by the calamity. Source

  • Estimated 30,000 electricity poles were broken, and 105 power sub-stations affected. About 10,000 personnel have been sent to the cyclone-affected coastal districts to repair the installations.Source

  • Estimated 127,000 trees were uprooted by the strong cyclonic winds that touched a maximum speed of about 120 kmph. Source

17 Nov

  • 1,77,500 people have been housed in over 351 camps. source

  • 1,27,000.+ trees have been uprooted. source

  • Milk was asked for and it has been despatched, source

  • Livelihood of the common people, including farmers and fishermen has been severely hit. source

  • Coconut trees over thousands of acres of farmland have been uprooted. source

  • Death toll from cyclone 'Gaja' has reached 33. source

16 Nov

  • Chief Minister Palaniswami said relief work will be taken up on war-footing and that the work was already underway. Status

  • Over 81,000 people have been evacuated across coastal Tamil Nadu. Source

  • Four teams each from the National Disaster Relief Force and its counterpart in the state are working in Nagapattinam. 9,000 first responders are also working to rescue people. Source

  • Cyclone Gaja makes landfall in Tamil Nadu: CM Palaniswami has announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund for the families of the deceased source

  • As of Nov 16 12.10am 76,290 people evacuated to Safety in Nagapattinam and other Coastal district - Via Tamil Nadu Disaster Management Authority source

  • Over 30,000 rescue personnel are kept on standby by the state government and all educational institutions in Puducherry and Karaikal regions will remain closed today. source

  • Two Indian Naval ships Ranvir and Khanjar are standing by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid and distress relief,” a Navy official was quoted saying by PTI. Helicopters, Dornier aircraft and one P8I aircraft are also on standby to undertake reconnaissance, rescue and casualty evacuation, the official added. source

15 Nov

  • As of November 15, 2018 at 22:00 IST Around 12,000 people have been evacuated across coastal Tamil Nadu ahead of landfall by the cyclone Gaja source

  • @IndiaRedCross is in a state of alert. Ramanathapuram District Collector Veera Raghava Rao said, “Around 70 State Disaster Rescue Force trained police personnel, 45 Indian Red Cross volunteers and 60 disaster response guards have been readied. source

  • Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Sivangaga, Dindigul, Theni, and Madurai are areas of critical alert source

National Links

State and District Links

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Disaster Management Authority

Chennai Government

Website http://www.chennaicorporation.gov.in/

  • Chennai Police

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Chennai.Police/timeline

  • Nagapattinam

Website https://www.nagapattinam.nic.in/

  • Tiruvarur

Website https://tiruvarur.nic.in/

  • Thanjavur

Website https://thanjavur.nic.in/

  • Pudukkottai

Website https://pudukkottai.nic.in/

  • Sivaganga

Website https://sivaganga.nic.in/

  • Dindigul

Website https://dindigul.nic.in/

  • Theni

Website https://theni.nic.in/

  • Madurai

Website https://madurai.nic.in/

Emergency Numbers and Help Lines

Police Control Room 100

Accident Helpline 108

Fire and Rescue 101

Ambulance 102

Disaster Helpline 1077

Help Lines

State Helpline 1070

District Helpline 1077

National Disaster Management Authority - Disaster Helpline - 011-1078

Shelters and Evacuation Centers

17 Nov

  • Around 2,49,083 people have been evacuated and housed in 493 cyclone evacuation shelters across the state. Around 200 people from Vizhundhamavadi village near Nagapattinam have resorted to a road blockade protesting lack of food supply in the relief camps. source

16 Nov

  • People were evacuated from low-lying areas and sheltered at over 300 relief centres in six districts including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur, reported news agency PTI. Source

15 Nov

  • As of November 15, 2018 at 22:00 IST more than 6000 relief camps have been opened and eight rescue teams have been put in place. source

Health and Hospitals

Status of Hospitals

17 Nov

  • In order to help people with health issues, 372 medical camps and 1,014 mobile medical units have been set up in the affected regions. source

  • A lakh of people had benefited by medical camps to prevent epidemics in affected regions, source

Hospital Lists

Special Needs /Vulnerable Population

Status

Schools

Status of Schools

16 Nov

  • Schools and colleges will remain shut on Friday and offices and business establishments were asked to relieve employees early. The Anna University has postponed its exams. Source

Airports

Lists of Airports / Links

Railways

Status

Maritime / Shipping / Ports

Status

16 Nov

  • A dredger that was anchored in Karaikal port ran aground due to the strong winds on Friday, reported PTI. However, no casualties were reported. The dredger 'Veera Prem' belongs to Mumbai-based Mercator Ltd and was dragged for about 60 km from the port before it ran aground, officials told PTI. source

Useful Links

Port of Chennai

Communications

Status

Power / Fuel

Status

  • 17 Nov

    30,000 electricity poles have either got mangled or fallen. source

    105 substations (electricity distribution stations) have been affected. source

    10,000 personnel have been rushed to the affected areas to repair them. source

    16 Nov

    • Power supply was disconnected in Nagapattinam and in several other coastal regions in view of the cyclone's landfall. Source

    • No major damage to electricity infrastructure was reported in Cuddalore. Source

Water Systems

Status

  • 17 Nov

    • Ten out of 26 Combined Drinking Water Schemes in coastal districts have been set right and people were being provided drinking water. source

Pictures / Videos

16 Nov

  • Video of rain and winds source

  • Pictures of damage power lines down and trees down source

  • Video of very rough sea condition prevails over Tamil Nadu coast. source

Rumor Control

  • Pamban bridge has been damaged by CycloneGaja don't believe it source

  • Social Media

    Hashtags #CycloneGaja, #GajaCyclone #GAJA #tamilnaduweatherman

    Traditional Media / TV / Newspaper / Radio

    TV

    Newspaper

    Radio

    Animals in Disaster

    Nov 17

      • The cyclone left 102 cattle and 633 goats dead all over Tamil Nadu. As a relief amount, the government will provide Rs 30,000 per cattle and Rs 3,000 per goat that died. source

      • Cattle, goats, and wild animals including deer, have died. source

      • Wildlife sanctuary surrounded by flood, fears that animals might have died Source

    Volunteers

    Alice, Amy, Brian, Cat, Chris, Crystal, Kirk, Mukesh