Cyclone Gaja made landfall in Tamil Nadu state at approximately 01:40 (local time) on Friday, November 16, resulting in the deaths of at least 11 people and the displacement of more than 80,000. Damage to buildings and infrastructure was reported in coastal areas in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states, including the towns of Nagapatiinam and Vedaranniyam. Power outages have been reported in affected areas. As of 11:30, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) indicated that Gaja was downgraded to a depression and was moving westwards at 16 km/h (10 mph). Rainfall of more than 20 cm (8 in) and a storm surge of 1 m (3 ft) is nevertheless expected in coastal areas of southeastern India in the coming hours. A red weather alert (the highest level on a four-tier scale) for high winds, heavy rains, and strong surf remains in effect in Kerala state as of Friday, while an orange alert is in effect in Tamil Nadu. Although the storm is expected to weaken as it continues inland, residual delays and cancelations are likely in and around Tamil Nadu and Kerala throughout the cleanup and rescue process.
Tropical cyclones are common in the Indian Ocean from April to December.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and anticipate flooding, transportation, and telecommunication disruptions. In the event of flooding, keep in mind that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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