The court also slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the Church of South India pastor, Aruldoss (60) of Viriddachalam in Cuddalore district, a coastal town 175 km from Chennai. Nine others were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The cyclone has caused extensive damage in southern India’s coastal region after more than 80.000 residents were evacuated. People living in low-lying areas had been moved into more than 470 relief centers in six districts, and fishermen were warned to stay away from the sea.
Cyclone Gaja lashed the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the wee hours of Friday. Heavy rains were accompanied by strong winds which uprooted trees and damaged roofs of houses.With the Tamil Nadu government already declaring that 30,500 rescue personnel were on standby, the district collectors of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukottai, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Ramanathapuram have declared holiday for schools and colleges on Thursday.Educational institutions in Puducherry and Karaikal regions are closed today and tomorrow in view of the cyclone.Here are the highlights:
According to the warning, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts are likely to receive “extremely heavy rainfall” (in excess of 20 cm) on Thursday.
Thousands of families have been evacuated from Tamil Nadu’s Salem, Erode, Namakkal and Karur districts due to the outflow from the Cauvery but farmers living in the districts near the river mouth claim water has not been flowing into irrigation canals leading to their fields.