Chennai: R.B. Udayakumar, speaking to media persons on Friday morning, confirmed that Vedaranyam was the most affected, in line with the predictions they had received earlier. "Because of our past experience, prior to the rains, winds and storm, the government was able to move 82,000 people from low-lying areas to 421 relief centres," he said. "While Gaja made landfall, the wind speed was 111 kmph. The meteorological department was constantly in contact with all the districts and other gave quick information," he added. The government was able to ensure the safety of the people even though the cyclone hit hard, the minister said, adding that the officials on the ground have to be credited for the same. "There were absolutely no fishermen in the sea when the cyclone hit, although boats have been damaged. We will ensure that new boats are given, as well as renovate the 216 fishermen's huts which were destroyed, he said.
The minister said that more than sufficient manpower and technical power and instruments were able to ensure this feat.