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Cyclone Tauktae: PM conducts aerial survey of Gujarat, announces Rs 1,000 crore aid

After arrival from Delhi at Bhavnagar airport, PM Modi, accompanied by Rupani, boarded a helicopter and conducted an aerial survey of affected areas in Gujarat and adjoining Union Territory of Diu to assess the damage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved assistance Rs 1,000 crore for "immediate relief activities" in Gujarat after conducting an aerial survey of areas hit by cyclone Tauktae in the state, an official release said.

He also announced ex-gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of those killed due to cyclone in all affected states.

Immediate financial assistance for the other affected states would be given after the respective state governments share assessment of the damage with the Centre, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) release added.

The announcement was made after Modi held a review meeting here with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and top officials to assess the damage caused by the cyclone.

Gujarat will get additional assistance after an inter-ministerial team which will visit soon submits its assessment, the release said.

The prime minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured in the cyclone across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, it said.

After arrival from Delhi at Bhavnagar airport, Modi, accompanied by Rupani, boarded a helicopter and conducted an aerial survey of affected areas in Gujarat and adjoining Union Territory of Diu to assess the damage.

The survey covered the Una taluka of Gir-Somnath district, Mahuva taluka of Bhavnagar and Jafrabad taluka of Amreli district besides Diu, the PIB release said.

Later, he chaired a meeting at the Ahmedabad Airport "to review the relief and rehabilitation measures being undertaken in Gujarat and Diu", said the release.

Chief minister Rupani and state Chief Secretary Anil Mukim were also present at the meeting.

The cyclone, which made landfall between Diu and Una town of Gir-Somnath district on Monday night after barrelling along India's west coast, left a trail of devastation.

Modi assured the people of Gujarat that the Centre would closely work with the state government and extend all possible assistance for restoration and rebuilding of infrastructure in the affected areas, the release said.

He also took stock of the coronavirus pandemic situation in the state and stressed the need to ensure that preventive measures are also taken, the release said.

The PM expressed complete solidarity with all those who suffered due to the cyclone in different parts of the country and expressed deep sorrow to the families who have lost their kin during the calamity, it added.

The Centre is working closely with the affected state governments in the wake of the situation post the cyclone, the PM said.

We have to continue to focus on more scientific studies relating to disaster management, he said, and called for stress on enhancing intra-state coordination as well as using modern communication techniques to ensure quicker evacuation from affected areas.

Immediate attention should be given to repairing damaged houses and properties, the release quoted the PM as saying.

According to the Gujarat government, 45 persons lost their lives in cyclone-related incidents in the state.

Tauktae triggered heavy rains from Saurashtra coast to North Gujarat. Over 16,000 houses were damaged, more than 40,000 trees and over 70,000 electric poles uprooted, while 5,951 villages faced total power blackout, it said.

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