New Delhi: Cyclone Gaja in southern India has killed at least 45 people, causing massive damage to homes and roads and drove tens of thousands of people into relief camps, Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami said on Sunday. He appealed to leaders of all political parties to take part in the relief activities.

India’s navy assigned two ships and a helicopter for relief work as state authorities rushed drinking water, food and paramedics to nearly 82,000 people who took shelter in more than 400 state-run camps.

They were evacuated from areas in the path of Cyclone Gaja, which struck six districts of Tamil Nadu state on Friday with heavy rains and winds that reached 90 kilometres per hour.

Rescuers found 13 bodies on Friday and an additional 20 on Saturday. Most deaths were caused by flooding, house collapses and electrocution.

The cyclone uprooted 30,000 electricity poles and more than 100,000 trees. Nearly 10,000 workers were trying to restore electricity supply to the worst-hit areas.

Palaniswami said a large number of goats, deer and wild animals had also perished in the flooding over the past two days.

Coconut trees over thousands of acres of farmland have been uprooted, according to Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, a farmers’ organization.