Surviving a cyclone

When everything is leveled to ground, and you do not know how , what and where to build

By Suraiya Menon

What is a Cyclone- to a child, a bird, animals,  women and men hit by it? Its more than mere a irresistible flow of wind and water.  A girl dies in Gaja Cyclone as she was segregated from home due to her periods, BBC reports said. Her family told BBC Tamil that she was trapped in the hut on 16 November when the cyclone made landfall. They rushed her to the hospital where she was declared dead on arrival. Cyclone Gaza has killed 46 people so far. But the indirect costs are still to be calculated.

The water-network , electricity network, communication and transportation network are gone disrupted. Life is halted still. Everything gets leveled to the ground. One needs to start from   practically nowhere. They need to restructure and re-frame their lives.

Moreover, as the houses are flooded and damaged , all the household things are gone. People are losing their loved ones, bread-earners, pets, belongings- an sometimes their aspirations and hopes.

Birds flew to different regions. But what about animals? They die as they could not escape to safe places. People lost their cattle in thousands. Goats, Deers, Buffalos, cows and calves- all died or went missing. At times, they are tied to poles so  fail to do even the minimal to protect themselves.  The economic and emotional cost of  Cyclone takes toll on the lives of people. they are irreversible, said Aravind, a relative of a cylcone hit family. His sister had gone to the mourning of the deceased in the family while he was narrating the situation in the aftermath of Gaza.  Farmers take 15-20 years to grow a coconut tree and in the recent Gaza cyclone tens of thousands of trees feel. The hard-work of 25 years goes in water. No much medical aid is even possible. All the hospitals , houses, railway stations , temples are damaged.

Colleges, universities and schools are flooded and damaged and shutdown. It affects the teachers, students and other staffs in more than one ways. Their economic life, their emotional life , their social life– just everything is tested.


Children miss the schools for months, but the board exams do not shift accordingly.

According to the government order issued on Tuesday, Rs 350 crore has been set aside to award compensation for the farmers who have lost their crops to the gale winds of cyclone Gaja.

Rs 205.87 crore has been allocated to ones who suffered loss of human lives, cattle and other possessions like clothes and cooking vessels.

Rs 100 crore will be given to the people with damages to their houses due to the cyclone.

While Rs 41.63 crore has been allocated to the fisheries department to be given for loss of boats of fishermen in the affected districts, Rs 102.50 crore has been set aside for infrastructure works to be carried out in the districts including roads and waterways.

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) has been allocated Rs 200 crore to carry out the necessary work required to restore electricity in the regions hit by the cyclone.