Cyclone Gaja killed 52, compensation for fishing boats hiked

Chennai: The cyclone ‘Gaja’ claimed 52 lives in November, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Friday said on Friday, adding the relief package for fishermen who lost their boats will be hiked from Rs 85,000 to Rs 1.50 lakh.

Speaking in the Assembly, the Chief Minister said following continuous requests from MLAs, Ministers and fishermen, the compensation given for fully damaged FRB boats would be increased from Rs 85,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh.

He said the number of deaths were greatly reduced because the government, as a precaution, evacuated 81,948 people from low-lying areas and housed them in 417 relief camps.

He said 52 people died in the cyclone, 5.27 lakh houses were damaged, 221,485 cattle and birds perished and farm and horticultural crops in 122,063 hectare area were damaged. The worst hit were coconut trees.

A total of 331,772 electric poles were felled while 655 transformers, 201 sub-stations and electric lines spread over thousands of km were damaged.

Apart from this, 5,662 boats of fishermen, 6,157 vessels and 10,648 fishing nets were damaged in the tragedy, the Chief Minister said.