A wave hits the sea walkway after cyclonic storm 'Gaja' made landfall at Rameswaram, in Ramanathapuram district on November 16, 2018. Over 80,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas as severe cyclonic storm 'Gaja' crossed Tamil Nadu's coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam early Friday, bringing heavy rains in coastal regions
For most people at Kannithoppu village near Velankanni in Nagapattinam district, Cyclone Gaja came as a surprise. Not because of lack of information but because they didn't believe what they heard or saw.
"Every Time people said that a rain or a cyclone is coming, it has never come. So this time also, I thought the same and stayed put in my house," says S Valarmathi.
Cyclone Gaja not only made landfall between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam early Friday morning but it wreaked damage as it crossed the coast of Tamil Nadu.
While Nagapattinam district has been declared by the state government as the worst-hit, the damage is for all to see in the village of Kannithoppu. Gale winds stripped away the roof of several homes, while some structures crumbled in the heavy rains. Uprooted trees also caused damage to several properties.
The severe Cyclonic storm Gaja has weakened into a cyclonic storm and lay centered at 05:30 hours over Tamil Nadu, about 20 kilometres west-northwest of Atirampattinam. It was carrying winds with a speed of 80-90 kmph gusting upto 100 kmph. As per the last update, the entire eye wall region was lying over land.
The eye of the storm made a landfall in Tamil Nadu at around 1:15 am on Friday, crossing the coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam, close to Vedaranyam. Over 76,000 people were evacuated from the region ahead of the cyclone making landfall. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is being reported from a few places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, with a red warning issued for both states. Extremely heavy rainfall is likely to occur at Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram. South Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
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