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Cyclone Gaja hit Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu early Friday morning, following which heavy rains and strong winds were reported. As the cyclone made its landfall at around 1.40 am, the intensity of the winds decreased for a brief while before rising again.

Over 76,000 people have been evacuated across the state. People were vacated from low lying areas and sheltered at over 300 relief centres in six districts including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur, reported news agency PTI. A MET department bulletin issued at 3.15 said that though the centre of the cyclone is over, real sector of eyewall is still over sea.

It would take an hour to move to land. The storm is likely to move nearly westwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next six, the MET department also said in its update.

In an attempt to mitigate damage to properties and human lives, the state administration headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has planned to evacuate around 20,000 people residing on the coastal line and moving them to relief camps.

According to official estimates 22 people have lost their lives due to the cyclone.




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