Cyclone Ockhi: Gujarat, Maharashtra on alert as IMD issues fresh warning

08 December, 2017, 12:16 | Author: Wade Massey
  • 26 dead and thousands evacuated as Cyclone hits India

India's coast guard and navy have rescued about 223 fishermen and evacuated thousands of people from cyclone hit areas.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, assuring him of support operations including necessary funds, according to local media.

The cyclone was centered at least 870 km off South West of Mumbai and it is very likely that the cyclone will move northwestwards of Maharashtra and then move towards South Gujarat during the ensuing 72 hours between December 4 night and December 6 morning.

Tamil Nadu Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management RB Udhaya Kumar, deputed to Kanyakumari to monitor relief work, said steps have been taken to drain the waterlogged in the areas.

More than 530 fishermen stranded in choppy waters have been rescued off Kerala state and the Lakshadweep islands, said Pinyari Viayan, Kerala's top elected official.

Almost 9,000 people have sought shelter in relief camps.

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"It is cloudy and strong winds touching 60-70 kmph is blowing with the worst-affected islands being Minicoy and Kalpeni", an official said.

Meteorological Department (IMD) has already warned that "high waves" towering 3-4.9m would be seen 10 km off Kerala's coast today.

"It is very likely to become a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood during the next 36 hours".

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami has asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to deploy helicopters of Coast Guard and Navy to search the missing fishermen. The ship had earlier found another body, a defence spokesperson said.

"The cyclone has wrecked havoc on South Kerala with severe damage to coastal areas and has endangered lives of fishermen operating at sea", the Coast Guard informed in a press release.

A report from Thiruvanathapuram said families of fishermen, who are yet to return, expressed their anguish and protested by blocking roads at various places.

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