16:22 GMT26 February 2021
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    At least 11 are reported dead and several injured and rendered homeless as cyclone Gaja touched the east coast of India in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

    The Government of India has pressed its defense forces into action to take control of the situation as Cyclone Gaja unleashed havoc on the eastern coast. Chief Minister of the worst affected state of Tamil Nadu K Palaniswami informed the press that over 83,000 people have been evacuated to safer locations in the wake of the cyclone.

    Meanwhile, the meteorological department has said that the severe cyclonic storm with winds moving at a speed up to 120 km per hour is likely to move westward and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm.

    Several districts of the adjoining states of Kerala, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have also been affected by the cyclone.

    "The cyclonic storm crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam, nearly 300 km from state capital Chennai, and Vedaranniyam. People were evacuated from low-lying areas and sheltered at over 300 relief centers in six districts including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, and Tiruvarur. Two naval ships equipped with divers, helicopters and inflatable boats were also docked to move to affected areas to provide relief and humanitarian aid," the Press Trust of India reported. 


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