But after I saw the impact of Cyclone Gaja’s wrath on these districts, the scene has changed completely. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department along with the Biodiversity Conservation Foundation conducted a synchronised bird census for the last three years, as part of which eight lakh birds from protected areas were assessed, the report of which will be released in December. Excess rainwater too flows from the roads to stormwater drains and into the canal, maintained by the Public Works Department. Only a few government organisations are allowed to do it but they lack the required expertise. S. Balachandran, the resident ornithologist at Point Calimere and Deputy Director, Bombay Natural History Society, explained that high-velocity winds that accompany cyclones are detrimental to bird congregation sites and rain-filled ones usher dramatic changes. Cyclones Nivar and Burevi brought relief to migratory birds after a two-year lull post-cyclone Gaja in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which was finally able to clock a good count of the winged visitors in the 15 wildlife and bird sanctuaries, even as avian experts warn that research, conservation and monitoring of bird habitats in the state leaves a lot to be desired. Though the cyclone in moving too fast it is going to dump huge rainfall in short period. Tamil Nadu’s revenue administration director, Satyagopal Rao, said the government has made necessary arrangements to address the cyclone and its impact. Regular, continuous monitoring, and study of cyclonic behaviour of birds must be undertaken. Tamil Nadu govt under attack over cyclone Gaja relief 21 Nov, 2018, 11.01 AM IST Palaniswami said the November 15 cyclone brought over one lakh electric poles and at least 40 lakh coconut trees to the ground, indicating the magnitude of impact. Cyclone Gaja centred over Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore on Thursday evening or night, the Met said. Further, these habitats desperately need rain-filled cyclones to enable microorganisms, phytoplanktons, zooplankton, and fish to thrive and in turn for birds to feed on them. “Point Calimere, a Ramsar site has extensive mudflats, yet many of them are not used by birds. On the other hand, 2019 saw a sharp decline in migratory birds but following Nivar, they resumed their visits to the sanctuaries in Udayamarthandapuram and Vaduvoor. Measures were taken by the Tamil Nadu government to store dry rations and fuel for the people after the cyclone's impact. Mudflats constitute an important ecosystem and attract shorebirds, among other species like crabs, which form the food base for these birds. Due to the possibility of adverse effects in the coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, early steps were taken by the state governments.About 80,000 were evacuated to 470 relief camps from the districts which were vulnerable to the cyclone in Tamil Nadu. Last week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a red warning, the highest category, for the eastern coastal states, telling locals to watch out for heavy rains and strong winds. As of 5.30 am Tuesday, the cyclone was located 410 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 450 km southeast of Chennai. It is the fifth cyclone that has taken shape in the North Indian ocean region in 2020. Unlike 2019, when 172 Amur falcons were spotted during this season, not a single bird of the species that is known to take a marathon flight from China to South Africa through India has visited the sanctuary, Emergency bird habitats, that included temporary man-made structures such as nesting sites, were arranged ahead of Nivar at the Oussudu lake bird sanctuary situated between Pulicat and Point Calimere wetlands, said Range Officer Dharmalingam. Balachandran observed that several species from sand hoppers to vultures have disappeared over the years. Farmers have seen acres of their coconut farms and banana plantations ruined, according to the The News Minute. Once degraded, mudflats are difficult to restore.”. Tamil Nadu is bracing itself for cyclonic storm Gaja, which is currently centred about 720 km east-northeast of Chennai. The impact was not considered to have been this severe in the initial days after the cyclone stuck as the death toll was relatively low. By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy. As of the morning on November 24, the cyclone was located 450 km southeast of Chennai. With COVID-19, dead bodies are also sprayed with strong chemicals, the repercussions of which in vultures should be looked into,” he said. Emergency bird habitats, that included temporary man-made structures such as nesting sites, were arranged ahead of Nivar at the Oussudu lake bird sanctuary situated between Pulicat and Point Calimere wetlands, said Range Officer Dharmalingam. Huts collapsed in the district of Karaikal in Puducherry following the impact of Cylone Gaja, which chief minister V Narayanasamy said had affected fishermen the most, destroying around 150 of their vessels. A bulletin released by the IMD at 00230 HRS said, ''The Cyclonic storm ‘GAJA’ over Southwest Bay of Bengal moved further west-southwestwards with … CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Government has asked private employers in the state to consider closing business—in select districts—for the day by 4 pm on Thursday in view of the approaching cyclone Gaja. Migratory birds like pintails, grey pelicans among others had flown away due to water paucity from the sanctuary during October and didn’t return till December even as there was a sharp decline in black and white ibis visitors. A day before the cyclone, more than 4000 birds of the painted stork, spoonbill, glossy ibis, and other species were spotted at a huge water tank in Viralimalai, Pudukottai district,” Kumaraguru said. Gaja Impact Gallery . Poisoning by cattle herders is another problem. Enjoy! Cyclone Gaja is known to have killed at least 46 people in the coastal state. Unlike 2019, when 172 Amur falcons were spotted during this season, not a single bird of the species that is known to take a marathon flight from China to South Africa through India has visited the sanctuary during the same time frame in 2020. “There would have been no floods if Pallikaranai’s topography was retained. Puducherry government Tuesday put its machinery on full alert to meet the impact of cyclone 'Gaja' which is expected to cross the neighbouring Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Pamban. While in 2016-17, around 5000 pelicans were spotted at the sanctuary during September-December, the year 2020 saw that count dwindle to 2,500. Kumaraguru, conservation scientist and Honorary Wildlife Warden at Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu Forest Department said that following every cyclone, the focus is solely on lack of electricity, waterlogging, and other utilitarian issues. Cyclone Gaja has left a trail of destruction in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry, claiming the lives of at least 45 people. The usual count of 5000 spot-billed pelicans had decreased to 2000 at Vedanthangal. Let’s not blame cyclones for flooding when the root cause lies in a failure to restore lakes, unplanned homes, rising population along with an improper storm drainage system in the city,” he said. In a number of affected areas, including the Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam districts, schools remain closed today (Nov. 19). Tamil Nadu Foundation, USA Inc. Tax ID #52-1064562 7409 Green Hill Drive Macungie, PA 18062 Phone: 781-486-3872 (781-4TNF-USA) Preparation, impacts and aftermath. The impact… Play Video. Pallikaranai marshland is one of the eleven wetlands in Tamil Nadu that fall on the Central Asian Flyway, a key migratory flight path. Photo: PTI. TRICHY: Severe cyclonic storm Gaja that crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranniyam in the early hours of Friday -- between 12.30am and 2.30am -- with a wind speed of 100-110kmph gusting to 120kmph brought heavy rain in the coastal districts, said the India Meteorological Department. Parts of the Idukki district, including the popular tourist destination Munnar, were flooded and witnessed damage to bridges and crops. Just a few months after severe flooding brought life in the southern-most state to a standstill, several districts in Kerala faced heavy rains and landslides once again. “Birds flocking to an area is a clear indication of it being biodiverse and secure. “Deterioration in stopover zones, which are important for refueling, can limit the population of migratory birds on that flyway, similar to the decline in shorebirds which relied on the Yellow Sea. You may republish Mongabay content in your publication at no cost. The impact of the cyclone also damaged electricity transformers and power lines, cutting off electricity in several districts. Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. Conversations on cyclone Nivar are incomplete without its predecessor. Unlike their counterparts abroad, Indian avian experts cannot track migratory birds across space by tagging them with transmitters as it is not allowed by the government citing national security. Gaja is most likely to make landfall by the evening of November 15 and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore, near Nagapattinam as a cyclonic storm only. The Buckingham Canal runs through the core parts of the city and is the final outlet for many drains. Home Minister, Rajnath Singh has asked the Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba to keep a close watch on Tamil Nadu. Shortly after hitting the coast, Gaja would weaken into a deep depression and would continue to travel over land in west-southwest direction towards South Kerala. Cyclone Titli had earlier made landfall on October 11 and left 62 people dead in Odisha. The health department ensures that carcasses are buried without exception, leaving scavengers starved. Cyclone Gaja is expected to make the landfall along the coast of Tamil Nadu between Pamban and Cuddalore, around Nagapattinam in late evening today, possibly between 8 pm to 11 pm. The total number of cyclones that have affected the state between 1891 and 2002 are 54, which is the fourth highest in the country after Odisha (98), Andhra Pradesh (79) and West Bengal (69). Before roosting, breeding, and settling at a place, migratory birds survey the habitat, and only if they find it conducive, do they stay else they disperse. Fertile lands, adorned with lush paddy and coconut trees — this is the picture that would flash before my eyes at the very thought of the Cauvery Delta districts in Tamil Nadu. Residents of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu try to get their lives together in the after effects of cyclone Gaja. Cyclone Gaja is expected to make landfall between Pamban and … Cyclone Gaja: Help arrives from the Center. 'Gaja' that lay … Cyclone Gaja makes landfall, heavy rains lash Tamil Nadu, Puducherry. Fishermen were also asked not to go out to sea. Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee). Fishermen cover their boats in Chennai. Minimal rainfall in the last two years had hit hard, both Vedanthangal and Karikili bird sanctuary. CHENNAI/PUDUCHERRY: Chennai and coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are expected to get rain from Wednesday evening as cyclone Gaja is edging closer to the coast at a speed of 12kmph. Impact of Cyclone Gaja: Thiru. These are some of our most ambitious editorial projects. The Centre on Friday pledged all support to cyclone Nivar-affected Tamil Nadu with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister K Palaniswami announcing relief to the kin of those killed. Here’s how the southern states have fared so far: The state government has estimated that the cyclone uprooted over 170,000 trees and damaged about 117,000 houses. “The spotlight should as much be on our preparedness quotient, the impact on wildlife, natural ecosystem, and the overall role of human beings. Currently moving in at 17 kmph towards Tamil Nadu, Gaja is expected to make landfall at Nagapattinam district between 8 pm and 11 pm on Thursday. Cyclone Gaja: Help arrives from the Center. Red Alert: Gaja Upgraded to a 'Severe' Cyclonic Storm, to Hit Tamil Nadu Tonight. NAGAPATTINAM: Sunday marked the second anniversary of Gaja cyclone which left a trail of destruction in the coastal town of Nagappatinam. The sanctuary, home to 166 species and declared as, one of the 93 significant wetlands in Asia, had recorded a major drop in the most common bird species in January, this year. An assured flow of funds to undertake multifaceted research on mudflats is lacking. Lessons from Cyclone Gaja: how to limit the impact of extreme weather in developing countries January 25, 2019 10 ... Tamil Nadu is the country’s second-largest economy. Cyclone Gaja is set to make landfall in Tamil Nadu today. Pal Pandian, a birdwatcher at Koonthankulam bird sanctuary near Tirunelveli said that rainfall was meagre and the peregrine falcon and red-necked falcon have been spotted. © 2021 Quartz Media, Inc. All rights reserved. The Met department has said that it will strengthen into a cyclone. Home Minister, Rajnath Singh has asked the Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba to keep a close watch on Tamil Nadu. “Unlike 30 years ago, now only cyclonic depressions result in good rains in the state due to global climate changes exacerbated by local conditions which have turned disastrous for migratory birds,” Balachandran said. CHENNAI: The cyclonic storm 'Gaja' over the Bay of Bengal lay at about 470 km south-east from here and is set to make landfall between Cuddalore and Pamban on Thursday evening bringing heavy rainfall to Tamil Nadu, Pudducherry and parts of Andhra Pradesh. Cyclone Burevi is the third cyclone to hit Tamil Nadu in two years after Cyclone Gaja in 2018 and Cyclone Nivar recently. When Cyclone Gaja made landfall on 16 November, 2018, between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu, it left a trail of destruction, uprooting nearly 50 lakh coconut trees, more than a … Updated: 21 Nov 2018, 05:28 PM IST Dharani Thangavelu. Follow LIVE UPDATES: Cyclone Gaja, named by Sri Lanka, is the second cyclone to hit the coastal area in a month after Cyclone Titli wreaked havoc in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on October 11, killing a total of 70 people. Conversations on cyclone Nivar are incomplete without its predecessor Gaja, which had killed several thousand birds and animals in 2018. Forming on November 5 as a low pressure system over the Gulf of Thailand, the system crossed through Southern Thailand and the Malay Peninsula and eventually crossed into the Andaman Sea. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department along with the Biodiversity Conservation Foundation conducted a synchronised bird census for the last three years, as part of which eight lakh birds from protected areas were assessed, the report of which will be released in December. The cyclonic storm Gaja intensified into a severe storm on Tuesday, prompting the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue a cyclone alert for Tamil Nadu and the Puducherry coast. 21:23 (IST) 13 Nov 2018 ISRO satellite launch subject to weather conditions tomorrow Arulagam, a Coimbatore-based NGO has been holding puppet shows for villagers and art workshops on making vulture caps and face masks for school students in Nilgiris district and Sathyamangalam to discourage demonisation of the scavengers. Satellite mapping is crucial for bird conservation and identification of roadblocks in its migration route,” he said. The marshland proposal to develop infrastructure for flood mitigation in the southern parts of Chennai is not to dredge but only reduce the quantity of water that reaches the marshland from other areas through baby canals that will divert the water directly to the Buckingham Canal,” J. 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