A Central team deputed to assess the damage caused by cyclone Gaja Monday completed its three-day inspection in storm-hit districts of Tamilnadu with a visit to affected areas of Nagapattinam district after visiting Thanjavur and Tiruvarur in the past two days.
The team, led by Daniel E Richard, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, completed its inspections and proceeded to neighbouring Karaikkal in the Union Territory.
Richard told reporters in Nagapattinam that all the storm-affected people would get appropriate relief.
He said:This is a huge disaster and it is not possible for things to happen overnight. ”Even “a strong structure” like a civil supplies godown could not withstand the force of the gale.
Power infrastructure was damaged, and people did not expect sea water intrusion to bring in slush to villages, he said, adding boats were also destroyed. People who regarded coconut trees as their children were devastated as they had been uprooted by strong winds, he said.
Asked how he felt interacting with the victims, Richard said it was a “moving experience which I cannot put it in words. I am also human”.
He lauded the government and said officials worked round the clock to clear roads of uprooted trees and restore damaged electricity infrastructure.
Drinking water supply and food distribution to the affected people in relief camps was going on well, he said.
In particular, lots of lives were saved due to the timely action of the government in moving people in vulnerable areas to safer places, he said.