Cyclone ‘Gaja’ makes landfall in south India, kills 11 people

A fallen pole and a damaged motorbike are seen in a road after cyclone Gaja hit Velankanni, in Nagapattinam district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A cyclone made landfall in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Friday, killing at least 11 people, uprooting trees and knocking down electricity poles after more than 80,000 people were moved out of its path to safety, officials said.

Cyclone “Gaja” made landfall in the early hours of Friday but then weakened as it moved inland, K. J. Ramesh, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department, told Reuters.

Eleven people were known to have been killed, said an official from the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority.

The state government has set up more than 470 relief camps and had evacuated more than 80,000 people from their homes in vulnerable areas, said the official who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to media.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced compensation of 1 million rupees ($14,000) for the families of those killed.

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