Salem: Severe cyclonic storm 'Gaja', which crossed Tamil Nadu's coast early Friday, has claimed 11 lives, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said.
'Gaja' crossed the coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam, bringing with it heavy rain, and causing severe damage to communication and power infrastructure, mainly in Nagapattinam district.
Speaking to reporters at Salem, Palaniswami said relief work will be taken up on a war-footing and that the work was already underway.
"The government has received information that so far 11 persons have died," he said without divulging further information.
He said the families of the deceased will be provided a solatium of Rs 10 lakh each from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund (CMPRF).
Those with severe injuries will be provided with Rs one lakh each while people who had sustained simple injuries will get Rs 25,000 as relief, he added.
The damage caused by Gaja, including to the fishing sector, was being assessed, he said.
Over 80,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas as severe cyclonic storm 'Gaja' crossed the coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam early Friday, bringing with it heavy rains in coastal regions.
Gusty winds due to the cyclonic storm resulted in hundreds of trees and electricity poles being uprooted in Nagapattinam and Karaikal districts.
Other districts like Cuddalore and Puthukottai also bore the brunt of the cyclone.