Cyclone Gaja is a major disaster and it hits Tamilnadu on Nov 16,2018. Gaja made its landfall with wind speeds of 120 km per hour, leaving behind a huge trail of destruction. The devastation suffered by people in these districts of Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts has been severe.Cyclone Gaja made its landfall between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu. Heavy rains were accompanied by strong winds which uprooted trees and damaged roofs of houses.


The impact was not considered to have been this severe in the initial days after the cyclone stuck as the death toll was relatively low. But its economic impact was worst.

  • damaged infrastructure, property and agriculture.
  • houses have collapsed
  • water sources are contaminated
  • electricity supply remains disrupted
  • crippled agriculture and livelihoods
  • felling of electricity poles
  • felling thousands of productive trees
  • death of livestock
  • Boats and huts of fishermen were destroyed
  • destroying lakhs of trees such as coconut, banana, cashew, mango, jackfruit, casuarina, eucalyptus, teak and sugarcane
  • small-scale industries like salt processing and dry fish making completely destroyed
  • maximum number of coconut trees were uprooted in Thanjavur district’s Orathanadu, Pattukkottai, Peravurani

Coconut trees:

  • Between 60% and 80% of the coconut trees in the region have fallen
  • these contribute a quarter of India’s coconuts with the highest unit yield
  • Unlike paddy or many other crops, bringing coconut plantations back to life will take years

Precautionary measures

  • Precautionary measures were taken in time to avoid loss of life.
  • Eastern Naval Command has assumed a high degree of readiness to render necessary humanitarian assistance Holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in many districts  People were evacuated to relief camps
  • The state disaster management authority had released an animated video aimed at creating awareness on the do’s and don’ts during cyclone.
  • National Disaster Response Force personnel the state disaster response force were deployed
  • The government announced helpline numbers 1070 (state-level) and 1077 (districts) for those who may need assistance.
  • medical camps and mobile medical units have been set up

Relief provided by the state

  • Rationed products like rice, flour, millets, sugar, salt, tea, kerosene and candles are being supplied free of cost
  • Electricity board employees worked day and night to ensure power supply to areas needing it.
  • Those with severe injuries will be provided with Rs 1 lakh each while people who had sustained simple injuries will get Rs 25,000 as relief
  • The government has announced compensations of Rs 30,000 for cattle loss and Rs 3,000 for goats.
  • the government has fixed the compensation amount at Rs 1,512 (approx.)per coconut tree that fell during the cyclone.
  • Ideas such as replanting uprooted trees are being proposed by the Tamil Nadu government