Cyclone Ockhi: 67 Persons Caught in Storm Return to Kochi Coast
An elderly person is carried to a safe spot in a flooded locality following  heavy rains at Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district.
An elderly person is carried to a safe spot in a flooded locality following heavy rains at Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district.
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Cyclone Ockhi: 67 Persons Caught in Storm Return to Kochi Coast

Cyclone Ockhi dissipated over the Arabian Sea, missing the coast of Gujarat. The cyclone, that claimed at least 37 lives in Kerala, has left a trail of destruction in its wake.

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  • Tamil Nadu CM writes to PM Modi, seeks financial aid from the Centre
  • Cyclone Ockhi dumps 80,000 kgs of trash on Mumbai’s coastline
  • Gujarat’s coast out of danger as Cyclone Ockhi dissipates over the Arabian Sea
  • The cyclone claims at least 37 lives in Kerala and 13 lives in Tamil Nadu
  • Rains due to the cyclone affected election campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat
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67 Persons Caught in Storm Return to Kochi Coast

Search and rescue operations to trace the fishermen missing in the aftermath of Ockhi cyclone continued for 10th day on Sunday, even as 67 persons caught in the storm, returned to Kochi coast.

A Indian Air Force transport aircraft covered 10,880 square nautical miles south of Kanyakumari coast in the Indian ocean, a Defence spokesperson said.

Another AN-32 aircraft along with local fishermen conducted search and rescue operations.

Meanwhile, Latin Catholic Church in Thiruvananthapuram district, to which most of the cyclone-hit fishermen belonged, observed a 'prayer-day' and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the affected coastal belt to take stock of the situation.

Kerala CM Meets Home and Defence Ministers, Seeks Rs 1,843 Crore Central Aid

The Kerala government, on Saturday, 9 December, sought a central assistance of Rs 1,843 crore in the wake of cyclone Ockhi devastating the state's coastal stretches, leaving 37 dead and several others missing.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi, and apprised them of the situation in the state post-Ockhi.

Talking to reporters in Delhi after meeting the two ministers, Vijayan said the state had sought central assistance of Rs 1,843 crore and Rs 300 crore assistance needed to be provided immediately.

Singh assured him that a central delegation will visit Kerala soon to take stock of the situation, Vijayan said adding both the union ministers had responded positively.

The search for missing fishermen will be extended beyond 500 nautical miles and help has been sought from countries like Oman which share ocean boundaries with India, he said.

There are 13,436 fishermen, who have no land or houses. About 4,148 fishermen have land, but no houses, he said.

They should be brought under the Prime Minister's rural housing scheme in 2018-19 fiscal and necessary assistance should be provided, said Vijayan.

Kerala Governor to Contribute One Month's Salary to Special Fund for Ockhi Victims

Kerala Governor P Sathasivam will contribute a month's salary to the special fund being raised for the victims of cyclone Ockhi.

All employees of Raj Bhavan would also contribute one day's salary towards the special fund, a Raj Bhavan press release said, on Saturday, 9 December.

Kerala Government asks Navy, Coast Guard, IAF to Continue Search for Fishermen

The Kerala government, on 9 December, requested the Navy, Coast Guard (CG) and Indian Air Force (IAF) to continue the search operations for the missing fishermen in the aftermath of Cyclone Okchi, for another 10 days.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is in Delhi, will be meeting Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and discuss the matter with her on Saturday evening.

He will also be meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with regard to the state's plea for a special central package to rehabilitate families affected by Ockhi cyclone.

180 people rescued off Lakshadweep coast

17 boats were rescued by INS Kalpeni with over 180 people off the Lakshadweep coast.

Tamil Nadu CM Asks PM for Financial Aid

TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit with the family of a fisherman who lost his life in the cyclone, on Thursday, 7 December.
TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit with the family of a fisherman who lost his life in the cyclone, on Thursday, 7 December.
(Photo: PTI)

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday, 7 December, requested the Centre to declare the cyclone in Kanyakumari district a ‘national disaster’ and provide financial assistance for the restoration of infrastructure.

The magnitude of the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi in the district is “humongous” and requires immediate intervention by the Centre, Chief Minister EK Palaniswami said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As an immediate measure, the Cyclone Ockhi that severely affected Kanyakumari district may be declared as national disaster and necessary financial assistance may be provided for the restoration of the infrastructure. In this hour of crisis, we need your immediate benevolent support.
EK Palaniswami, Tamil Nadu CM
KEY EVENT

1969 fishermen rescued from Kanyakumari

The Tamil Nadu government said on Thursday, 7 December that nearly 2,000 fishermen who had ventured into the sea before Cyclone Ockhi crossed the coast of Kanyakumari, were rescued and safely accommodated in coastal districts of various states.

Tamil Nadu’s Principal Secretary of Information Technology, TK Ramachandran said on Thursday that 1,969 fishermen on 284 boats ventured into the sea just a day before Cyclone Ockhi crossed the coast last week.

The fishermen hailing from Kanyakumari district are currently safe and were accommodated in coastal districts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Lakshadweep, Karnataka and Kerala.
Ramachandran, Principal Secretary

Cyclone Ockhi Dumps 80,000 Kgs of Trash on Beaches

Reports claimed that 80 tonnes of waste were dumped on Mumbai’s beaches by Cyclone Ockhi’s winds.
Reports claimed that 80 tonnes of waste were dumped on Mumbai’s beaches by Cyclone Ockhi’s winds.
(Photo: Twitter/@YuliyaHardin)

Cyclone Ockhi’s high wind speeds as it passed to the west of Mumbai may have resulted in some of the cleanest air the city has breathed this year, on Wednesday, with an AQI of 41 as reported by the Hindustan Times.

But, the BMC solid waste management department said on Thursday, 7 December, over 80,000 kgs of waste from the ocean had been dumped on the city’s coastline because of the same cyclone winds.

The report quoted an anonymous solid waste management official as the source of the information.

A total of 26 truckloads have been collected from different beaches so far. The process will continue for the next three to four days.
KEY EVENT

Cyclone Ochki Death Toll Climbs to 36 in Kerala

Three bodies were recovered on the morning of Thursday, 7 December, off the Kerala coast, taking the state’s death toll due to Cyclone Ockhi to 36, even as rescue operations are going on in full swing to trace the 96 missing fishermen, PTI reported.

While a body was recovered near Alappuzha by the Marine enforcement wing, two bodies were found by Coast Guard ship Vaibhav off Alappuzha-Kochi coast on Thursday morning, defence sources told PTI.

An air force aircraft, flying between Kozhikode- Kochi coasts, had sighted a fishing boat with around 15 fishermen, following which the navy sent a Dornier aircraft and ship to rescue them, the sources added.

KEY EVENT

Kerala Increases Compensation to Rs 20 Lakh

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, 6 December, announced that Rs 20 lakh would be given to the families of the deceased fishermen.

The government had earlier declared Rs 10 lakh compensation for each of the families.

In a press meet to explain the Cabinet decisions regarding cyclone Ockhi and how the state had dealt with it, he said 52 relief camps have been opened in the state, in which 8,856 people were housed, reported The News Minute.

KEY EVENT

Cyclone Ockhi Dissipates, Gujarat Spared

The people of Gujarat and the state administration heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday, 6 December, as Cyclone Ockhi dissipated over the Arabian Sea, sparing the poll-bound state.

On Tuesday, 5 December, the cyclone was headed towards Gujarat after leaving a trail of destruction on the southern Indian coast. The cyclone, on Tuesday, 5 December, passed the Mumbai coast, and much to the relief of the people in Maharashtra's capital, it just brought rains. There were no reports of loss of life or damage to property.

As per an early morning release by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclonic storm first turned into a 'deep depression', then into a 'depression' and finally into a 'low pressure' area after midnight Monday.

The depression over east-central and adjoining north-east Arabian Sea weakened into a well-marked low pressure area over east central Arabian sea and adjoining areas of north-east Arabian Sea, north coastal Maharashtra and south coastal Gujarat at 23:30 hours yesterday (5 December).
Press Statement

The cyclone dissipated over the sea before hitting the Gujarat coast, said Jayanta Sarkar, director of the MeT Centre.

As per the IMD release, the sea condition would be rough along and off south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts during the next 12 hours.

KEY EVENT

Cyclone Ockhi Affects Election Campaigning in Gujarat

Cyclone Ockhi, which by now has turned into a depression, has affected the election campaigning in Gujarat.

Many leaders had to cancel their rallies in the state because of the cyclone, The Times of India reported.

While Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi cancelled his rallies in Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar on Tuesday, 5 December, PM Narendra Modi postponed his Surat rally on Wednesday, 6 December, the report added.

Earlier, BJP president Amit Shah had to cancel three of his rallies too.

KEY EVENT

Surat Receives Light Rainfall

Surat received light showers on the morning of Wednesday, 6 December.
Surat received light showers on the morning of Wednesday, 6 December.
(Photo: ANI)

Surat received light rainfall on Wednesday, 6 December. Cyclone Ockhi was expected to cross the city the previous night.

Meanwhile, five fishermen – three from Tamil Nadu and two from Kerala – will join rescue operations on board the INS Kalpeni for three days.

KEY EVENT

Cyclone Ockhi Weakens, May Not Hit Gujarat Coast: IMD

Cyclone Ockhi is gradually weakening into a depression and may not hit the Gujarat coast near Surat as predicted earlier, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, 6 December.

The deep depression is located around 240 kms south-southwest of Surat.

The deep depression over east-central Arabian Sea moved further north-northeastwards with a speed of 18 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred over east-central Arabian Sea near latitude 19.4º N and longitude 71.5º E, about 240 km south-southwest of Surat and 150 km west-northwest of Mumbai.
IMD forecast

“It is very likely to continue to move north- northeastwards, weaken further and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a depression by tonight (5 December 2017),” the bulletin read.

KEY EVENT

"Every Attempt Is Being Made to Get Missing Fishermen Back"

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, addressing the media, said that every attempt was being made by the defence forces to bring back the fishermen who went missing.

Every attempt is being made by Coast Guard, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force to get the missing fishermen and to bring them back to safety. I have been quoting the numbers given to me by the state government.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister
KEY EVENT

Cyclone Ockhi to Cross Gujarat Tonight

IMD Ahmedabad Director said that Cyclone Ockhi is expected to cross Gujarat tonight. Heavy rainfall alert has been issued to coastal districts only for the night, he added.

The cyclone is around 350 km south-west of Surat, and is expected to cross tonight. It is showing sign of decreasing in intensity. The wind speed expected to be around 65-70 kmph when cyclone crosses.
Director, IMD Ahmedabad

Cyclone Ockhi Moves Closer to Gujarat

Cyclone Ockhi has reportedly moved closer to the southern coast near Surat in Gujarat and is expected to make landfall in the state around midnight, Met officials said in their latest bulletin.

According to the Met department the cyclone is is now just 390 kms away from Surat.

KEY EVENT

Kerala Govt Calls Off Inaugural Gala

The Kerala government has called off the inaugural gala of International Film Festival of Kerala, on 5 December, as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives in cyclone Ockhi.

Modi Asks BJP Karyakartas in Gujarat to Help People, 'Is He PM or CM' Ask Left Leaders

In a couple of tweets on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the BJP karayakartas in Gujarat to help people across the state, which is expecting Cyclone Ockhi to make a landfall by Tuesday night.

He said he’s constantly monitoring the situation due to the cyclone, in different parts of the country.

Leaders, however, questioned the timing of the PM’s tweets.

The ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders in Kerala slammed Modi on his failure to address the grief of cyclone-affected people in the state, The News Minute reported.

The Left leaders launched a searing attack against the PM, questioning his silence on the issue for so long.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said, “Instead of declaring Ockhi a national calamity, the PM remained mum all these days on the devastation caused by it in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There is a clear laxity on his part in personally acknowledging the sufferings of the people of the state. It is for him to say whether he is the PM of the country or the PM of Gujarat,” Deccan Chronicle reported.

CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran also criticised the PM for tweeting about Ockhi only when it was expected to hit the coastal belt of his home state.

BJP state secretary K Surendran responded to the heated criticism against the PM. He told DC, “Why did it take four days for CM Pinarayi Vijayan to visit the affected area which is just 20 km away from his office? Defense Minister Nirmala Sitaraman visited the affected area and coordinated the operations of the navy, coast guard and air force.”

KEY EVENT

1,540 People Hit by Cyclone Ockhi Rescued: Government

As many as 1,540 people, including fishermen, affected by Cyclone Ockhi in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Lakshadweep were rescued by various agencies, the government said, on Monday, 4 December.

A total of 243 fishermen in Tamil Nadu, 250 fishermen in Kerala, and 1,047 persons in Lakshadweep have been rescued so far, an official statement said, after a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the death-toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala increased to 25.

KEY EVENT

PM Attacks Congress over Handling of Natural Calamities

BJP president Amit Shah's public rallies in Rajula, Mahuva and Shihor were cancelled due to Cyclone Ockhi. The cyclone is expected to hit the coast of southern Gujarat before 6 December.

Asserting that the BJP governments at the Centre and Gujarat are prepared to tackle the situation when Cyclone Ockhi makes a landfall on the state’s coast on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a jibe at the Congress over its “inefficient handling” of natural calamities in the past.

After leaving a trail of destruction on the southern coast, Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make a landfall in coastal Gujarat on Wednesday midnight, with squally winds and heavy rainfall.

KEY EVENT

Mumbai Experiences Hailstorm, Highest 24-Hour December Rainfall in a Decade

As Mumbai braces for Cyclone Ockhi, some parts of the Munbai-Pune Expressway experienced a hailstorm early on Tuesday, 5 December, police said.

The city on Monday reported the highest amount of rainfall to take place in the month of December, in about a decade, says Hindustan Times. It is also the first time since 2014, that it has rained in the city in December. The sudden rainfall, reports India.com, seems to be an effect of the Cyclone Ockhi.

The Western Railway (WR), on Monday, said it has taken necessary precautions and made suitable arrangements in view of the warning about the cyclone.

However, it seems like the media, social media especially, seems to be blowing the rains hitting Mumbai, a little bit out of proportion.

For instance, this video that went viral on Twitter about the Bandra-Worli being submerged, is a total fake. According to SMHoaxSlayer, the video was shot in Lakshadweep three months earlier, on 26 August 2017. SMHoaxSlayer stated this after confirming with people who live near the Bandra-Worli sealink, who claimed that there was no such submergence.

Also Read: Relax, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link Is Not Getting Submerged

KEY EVENT

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Speaks to CMs of TN, Kerala

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on Monday, called up Tamil Nadu and Kerala chief ministers and assured them of all help in dealing with the situation arising out of Cyclone Ockhi while the National Crisis Management Committee reviewed rescue and relief operations in affected areas.

Singh spoke to Edappadi K Palaniswami and Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively, about the situation in areas affected by the cyclone, a home ministry official said.

He also called up the administrator of Lakshadweep, Farooq Khan, and enquired about the situation in the islands.

The Centre is providing all possible assistance to these states and union territories and, rescue and relief operations are going on in full swing, the official said.

KEY EVENT

Emergency Numbers Updated

All emergency numbers have been updated and an emergency cell has been opened at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Kalyan, the Central Railway Mumbai Division announced.

More than 250 railway police force and Maharashtra State Security Force personnel have been deployed on crowd management and other related activities at stations, yards etc. Break-down equipment such as Accident Relief Train, Accident Relief medical van, Road ART has been kept in readiness for any eventuality.
KEY EVENT

Crisis Management Committee Taking Stock

The National Crisis Management Committee reviewed relief and rescue operations in States and Union Territories affected by Cyclone Ockhi. The committee took stock of preparedness activities in Maharashtra and Gujarat which are likely to be impacted by the cyclone.

Cyclone Ockhi over east central Arabian sea moved further northwards with speed of 13 kmph on Monday. It is likely to move North-North Eastward and weaken gradually. It will cross coasts of south Gujarat and adjoining North-Maharashtra near Surat as a deep depression by 5 December midnight.

NCMC also took note of another depression being formed in South East Bay of Bengal adjoining South Andaman sea and reviewed preparedness activities undertaken by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Necessary advisories have been issued to fishermen and others.

KEY EVENT

Maharashtra Govt Declares Precautionary Holiday for Schools & Colleges

Maharashtra Minister Vinod Tawde declared a precautionary holiday declared for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurga, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts for the safety of the students due to the serious weather predictions on Cyclone Ockhi.

KEY EVENT

Ships, Aircrafts Deployed to Rescue Fishermen

12 ships, three Dornier aircraft and three helicopters have been deployed by Coast Guard Region (West) for providing critical assistance to the fishermen at sea. The Coast Guard District Headquarters at Cochin and Kavaratti have been directed to provide assistance to stranded fishermen.

(Photo: ANI)

National Crisis Management Committee Reviews Rescue and Relief Operations

The National Crisis Management Committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, has reviewed rescue and relief operations being carried out in high seas and coastal areas hit by cyclone Ockhi.

In a series of meetings, the NCMC took stock of the situation in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Lakshadweep, an official spokesperson said on Monday.

The NCMC is monitoring the situation and has provided all necessary help to the affected states and union territory, he said.

If necessary, additional help would be provided, the spokesperson said.

Apart from the cabinet secretary, representatives of the ministries of defence, home and earth sciences and the National Disaster Management Authority attended the meetings being held since Sunday, 3 December.

Rescue Operations Continue in Lakshadweep Islands

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    (Photo: ANI)
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    (Photo: ANI)
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    (Photo: ANI)

The Indian Navy continued its rescue and relief operations in the Lakshadweep islands on Monday, 4 December.

KEY EVENT

Female Fishers Protest, Demand Search in Deep Seas

Women members of the fisherfolk community on Monday held a protest in Kanyakumari district, demanding that authorities intensify rescue operations to trace fishermen caught in the deep sea in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi.

Hundreds of women held a protest on the roads in Neerodi village, demanding the authorities trace their loved ones who are still missing since Ockhi struck southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala on 30 November.

According to the fishing community in Kanyakumari, around 1,000 fishermen went into the sea before Ockhi struck the southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, some fishermen in Kanyakumari district have said that the Indian Coast Guard was carrying out search operations only within 40 nautical miles from the shore and not venturing into deep sea, 200 nautical miles from the shore, where many fishermen go for deep sea fishing.

Speaking to a television channel, a fisherman in Kanyakumari who came back to the shore said: "Only God saved my life. We were thrown into the sea by the cyclone (Ockhi)."

He said he saw several bodies floating-by when he was in mid sea.

KEY EVENT

Cyclone Ockhi Exprected to Make Landfall at Gulf of Khambhat, Surat on 6 December

According to The Indian Express, Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall at Gulf of Khambhat and Surat, 90 km from Maharashtra, on 6 December.

According to the report, an advisory has been issued to all who’d be affected by it.

Twelve ships and three aircrafts are still running rescue operations in waters around, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep islands.

The National Disaster Management Authority, on Monday, advised fishermen not to venture into deep sea off north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast from 5 December onwards as the seas would be very rough due to an expected deep depression over southeast Bay of Bengal.

KEY EVENT

Haryana CM Sends Rs 2 Crore for Cyclone Victims

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has sent Rs 2 crore from the Chief Minister’s Fund to the Prime Minister’s Fund for the relief and rescue operations of the victims of Cyclone Ockhi.

KEY EVENT

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to Meet Defence Minister

Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has reached the Airforce Technical area in Thiruvananthapuram. He will meet Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss the effects of Cyclone Ockhi, News 18 reported.

Other lawmakers from the Congress will also meet the minister.

On Sunday, 3 December, Vijayan faced a group of fishermen when he visited nearby Vizhinjam to express solidarity with the community affected by the cyclone.

As the CM came out of a local church to board his car, a group of men tried to block his way. Some of them raised slogans alleging government apathy towards the cyclone, which has claimed 19 lives in the state so far and left several fishermen stranded at sea.

Several of the missing fishermen hailed from Vizhinjam. Police had a tough time clearing the protesters.

Vijayan later left the place along with Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

KEY EVENT

Nirmala Sitharaman Meets Families of Affected Fishermen

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram to meet the families of fishermen affected by Cyclone Ockhi, on Monday, 4 December.

Sitharaman rounded up her two-day visit to the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, saying the rescue operations will continue till the last fisherman stranded in the deep seas, is rescued and brought ashore.

Addressing reporters at the airport in Thiruvananthapuram, just before boarding her flight to Delhi, Sitharaman said she visited two fishing villages in Vizhinjam and Poonthura in Kerala and found that the people were under "severe stress and deep distress".

I appealed to them that the search operations with even warships are going on and will continue till the last of the missing fishermen is brought back... I will not lose hope as the joint search operations have rescued fishermen who had ventured into the seas 15 days back. We have news that several boats have reached the coasts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. 

She added that she has spoken to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to see that these fishermen are given the space to remain there till the sea is safe for them to return.

KEY EVENT

Toll Mounts to 19 in Kerala, 690 Fishermen Rescued

The death toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala rose to 19, even as over 600 fishermen stranded at sea off the state's coast were rescued, official sources said on Sunday, 3 December.

The very severe cyclonic storm 'Ockhi' lay centred, on Sunday, over east central and south east central Arabian Sea.

The death toll climbed to 19 in Kerala, with six more bodies being recovered, sources said.

Eleven of the dead are from the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram.

An India Meteorological department (IMD) bulletin said 'Ockhi' has moved further north-northwestwards with a speed of 12 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred about 440 km west-northwest of Amin Divi, 870 km south-south west of Mumbai and 1,070 km south-south west of Surat.

It is very likely to move north-northwestwards for some more time and then recurve northeastwards towards the south Gujarat coast during next 72 hours, it said.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, on Sunday, said the cyclone had moved away from Lakshadweep islands and was likely to move in northeasterly direction and gradually weaken, The News Minute reported.

According to the sources, 690 fishermen have been rescued in combined operations carried out by the Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force.

Ninetysix fishermen are still missing, they said.

Sixtythree houses have been fully damaged and 74 partially. A total of 6581 persons have been shifted to various relief camps in the state.

A fresh spell of rainfall is expected to lash Tamil Nadu as the well-marked low pressure area over the south Andaman Sea is likely to turn into a depression in the next 24 hours and a deep depression in the subsequent 48 hours, the Met office said.

KEY EVENT

Eighty-Nine Km Stretch Cleared by NDRF Post Ockhi

Two teams consisting of 62 NDRF personnel on Sunday cleared an 89-km stretch of 450 trees post the cyclone. Another team of 40 NDRF personnel will move to Cuddalore on Monday, 4 December morning at 6 am.

The Navy said that ten of its ships and eight aircraft were involved in the continuing search and rescue operations in the southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands.

The vessels included capital ships such as “Chennai” and “Kolkata” which were carrying relief materials, a Defence statement said.

In addition, eight aircraft, including long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I, were deployed throughout the day.

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    (Photo Courtesy: NDRF)
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    (Photo Courtesy: NDRF)
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    (Photo Courtesy: NDRF)
KEY EVENT

"IMD Started Issuing Alerts About Ockhi From 28 Nov"

Amid a political slugfest over Cyclone Ockhi, Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday, 3 December, said the IMD issued its first alert to Kerala about heavy rain on 28 November and a warning about the cylcone a day later.

In a statement, Vardhan said on the afternoon of 29 November, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued the first bulletin of the cyclone warning and it was conveyed to all district officials in Kerala, the state disaster management authority and the chief secretary.

In the first bulletin, the information was clearly provided on the possibility of further intensification of the system into a cyclonic storm and associated adverse weather. there was a clear message for fishermen not to venture into the sea during the next 48 hours. This bulletin was repeated every three hours including on the night of 29 November and was still continuing.
Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan
KEY EVENT

357 People Rescued by Defence Forces

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday reviewed the search-and-rescue operations undertaken after Cyclone Ockhi, and will visit more affected areas in Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Monday, officials said.

Figures collated by the Defence Ministry on Sunday said the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Indian Air Force have so far rescued 357 persons.

After arriving in Kanyakumari and holding a review meeting with officials, the Minister visited villages in the nearby areas where she interacted with the local fishermen.

KEY EVENT

Defence Minister Reviews Cyclone Situation in Kanyakumari

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reached Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to review the cyclone situation along with Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, senior ministers, officers of Navy, coastguard and district officials.

KEY EVENT

Ochki to Lash Saurashtra Coast in Next 48 Hours

Ochki cyclone is likely to lash Saurashtra coast in the next 48 hours and subsequently weaken, reported ANI. The fishermen in the region have been warned not to venture out and those who have gone out have been asked to return immediately.

KEY EVENT

Ockhi Won't Be Termed National Disaster: KJ Alphons

Cyclone Ockhi, which has caused widespread damage in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts, will not be termed a national disaster, Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons said on 3 December.

On Saturday, the Kerala government decided to approach the Centre for declaring Ockhi a national disaster.

re is no provision to declare this as a national calamity. The Centre will provide funds. If needed, more funds will be alloca
KJ Alphons

Alphons held a meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other cabinet colleagues earlier in the day to discuss the rescue and rehabilitation operations.

KEY EVENT

Rains in Mumbai Expected

Mumbai can expect light to moderate showers by the evening of 4 December, SkymetWeather tweeted.

Four Kerala Fishermen Dead, 102 Untraced 

The bodies of four Kerala fishermen were recovered on Saturday, while there is no word about 102 fishermen from the state who ventured to the deep sea.

The bodies were found as part of rescue operations launched by the Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard after Cyclone Ockhi hit the southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

While the identity of one of the dead has been found, the other three bodies brought to the shores on Saturday were in a decomposed stage and identification became difficult.

According to official figures, 37 fishermen from Kerala were rescued in the joint operations, while some others returned on their own. By Saturday evening, the total number of fishermen who had returned stood at 450, while there is no word about 102 from the state who continue to be missing.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media that Rs 10 lakh each would be given to the families of the dead fishermen and Rs 20,000 each to those injured, while those who have lost their fishing gear and other equipment would be compensated.

Cyclone Ockhi Kills 13

The death toll due to Cyclone Ockhi rises to 13, The News Minute reported on Saturday. An estimated 151 people are reportedly missing in Kerala.

Kerala Govt to Ask Centre to Declare Okchi Cyclone a National Calamity

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on 3 December that the government is in the process of drafting a memorandum to submit to the Centre to declare the Ockhi cyclone a national calamity. “The chief secretary has been entrusted to prepare the memorandum in this regard,” Vijayan told reporters.

Defence Min Refutes Claims of Fishermen Being Stranded

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dismissed claims of thousands of fishermen being stranded. As per figures, while 71 from Tamil Nadu have been rescued till now, 97 are yet to be rescued. In her tweet, she stated that the Coast Guard is putting all its strength to rescue the rest. In addition, she affirmed that good news is awaited.

Tamil Nadu Govt Asks Centre to Deploy Rescue Helicopters

Tamil Nadu government urges Centre to deploy Naval and Coast Guard helicopters for search and rescue of missing fishermen, mostly from Kanyakumari.

3 Fishermen from Kerala Rescued

Three rescued fishermen from Kerala were brought to Thiruvananthapuram Air Force Station, and were later admitted to hospital for treatment.

"Saddened by the Deaths Due to Ockhi": Rahul Gandhi

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to condole the deaths of the people killed in the cyclone.

“I express my condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones to the destruction caused by Cyclone Ockhi. I request the state government to take adequate measures to retrieve the fishermen who are stuck in the sea,” his tweet read.

Fresh Spell of Rain Likely

Fresh spell of heavy rain likely in some areas of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Puducherry with a low pressure area forming over south Andaman Sea, said the Met office.

TN Sanctions Rs 25 Crore for Relief Measures

The Tamil Nadu government sanctioned Rs 25 crore for overseeing rescue and relief operations in Kanyakumari district, reported India Today.

Heavy Rainfall Over Laskhadweep Islands for Next 24 Hours: NDMA

"Rescue Operations Underway", Assures TN Fisheries Minister

Speaking to the media on the status of the rescue operations, TN Fisheries Minister Jayakumar said that 6 boats with 71 fishermen had been rescued so far. 11 fishermen from Kerala had also been rescued.

Jayakumar said he had spoken to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressing his concern regarding the missing fishermen. The fishermen who are lost had reportedly gone into sea before the warning signals were issued.

Special Teams Sent to Identify Rescued Fishermen

Special Teams have been sent by the government of Tamil Nadu to Kerala for identification and repatriation of rescued fishermen.

102 Kerala Fishermen Yet to Return Home

The rescue operations jointly launched by the Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard resumed on Saturday with 102 Kerala fishermen yet to return home, a top state official said.

Thiruvananthapuram district Collector S. Vasuki told the media that the 102 fishermen from here cannot be termed as "missing". "These fishermen had gone into the sea. They are yet to reach home or they have not been able to contact their relatives here."

"The search operations now are aimed towards the Alappuzha area, as the boats would have run out of fuel. They would be drifting according to the wind direction. Hence the search operations are focusing towards Alappuzha," said Vasuki.

She also added that strict instructions have been given that "none should venture into the sea for fishing".

Wreckage in Lakshadweep

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    (Photo: ANI)
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    (Photo: ANI)
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    (Photo: ANI)

Modi Dials TN CM, Assures Assistance

The Tamil Nadu government has said it will soon seek central funds for the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi in the southern parts of the state, with Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts being the worst hit.

This was conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Chief Minister K Palaniswami during a telephone conversation between the two leaders last night, a state government release said.

"The prime minister assured to immediately give the required assistance," the release issued last night said.

Modi dialled Palaniswami and enquired about the damage caused by the cyclone, which also battered parts of Kerala, it said.

The chief minister apprised him of the various relief works going on in "full swing" in seven districts of the state and told Modi that Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli were the worst affected.

He listed out various steps being taken, besides deputing senior ministers and IAS officials to oversee the relief work, the release added.

Traffic Halted at Karupanthurai - Melapalyam Link Road in Tamil Nadu

Heavy rain lashes at Tirunelveli on 2 December. Traffic has been halted on the Karupanthurai - Melapalyam link road as the low-lying bridge was submerged in Thamirabarani river in Tamil Nadu.

Over 1,200 Hit by Cyclone in 2 Districts Lodged in Relief Camps

Tamil Nadu government on Friday, 1 December, said over 1,200 persons affected by Ockhi cyclone in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts have been lodged in relief camps, as Chief Minister K Palaniswamy took stock of the situation.

At a review meeting in Chennai, the Chief Minister asked officials to expedite all works undertaken in the affected areas, even as scores of personnel have been deployed to address various issues, including restoring the power network.

As per the orders of the Chief Minister, 1,044 persons in Kanniyakumari have been lodged in 16 relief camps while the number was 205 in two camps in Tirunelveli, an official release said.

To expedite relief works in worst affected Kanniyakumari district, two NDRF teams and seven of the state disaster response agency have been deputed.

They, along with local officials, were rescuing people on a 'war-footing' from inundated areas, it said.

CWC Warns of Rivers Rising in TN, Kerala; Death Toll Rises to 12

With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting a heavy rainfall at isolated places of Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the next 24 hours in view of Cyclone Ockhi, the Central Water Commission (CWC) today said the pouring might trigger a rapid rise in the water level of the rivers in the two southern states.

A CWC advisory said the west-flowing rivers in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzzha and Ernakulam in Kerala were likely to rise over the next 24 hours, slowly fall as the rains reduced.

The death toll in the two states in rain-related incidents rose to 12.

IAF Helicopter Rescues Stranded Fishermen from Sea

Indian Air Force tweeted a video of an IAF helicopter rescuing stranded fishermen at Sea.

President Ramnath Kovind Sympathises with Victims

President Ramnath Kovind tweeted saying his thoughts and prayers are with the victims who have been affected by Cyclone Ockhi.

Change in Pattern of Train Services Due Following Torrential Rain in the Nagercoil-Kanyakumari Section

Trains Cancelled

  1. Train No 56317 Kochuveli-Nagercoil Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017
  2. Train No 56316 Nagercoil-Trivandrum Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017
  3. Train No 56719 Nagercoil-Trivandrum Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017

Trains Partially Cancelled

  • Train No 16317 Kanniyakumari-Shrimata Vaishnodevi Katra Himasagar Express scheduled to leave Kanniyakumari at 14:15 on 01.12.2017 hrs. Will commence its journey form Thiruvananthapuram Central at 16:10 hrs(01.12.2017).
  • 12634 Kanniyakumari-Chennai Egmore Express scheduled to leave  Kanniyakumari at 17:20 hrs is partially cancelled between Kanniyakumari-Nagercoil on 01.12.2017 and it will commence its journey from  Nagercoil Jn at 17:40 hrs (01.12.2017).
  • Train No 56717 Kanniyakumari-Tirunelveli Passenger scheduled to leave Kanniyakumari at 18:15 hrs is partially cancelled between Kanniyakumari-Nagercoil on 01.12.2017 and the train will start from Nagercoil Jn at 18:35 hrs(01.12.2017).
  • Train No 12641 Kanniyakumari-Hazrat.Nizamuddin Tirukkural Express scheduled to leave Kanniyakumari at 19:15 hrs on 01.12.2017 is partially cancelled between Kanniyakumari-Nagercoil and the train will commence its journey from Nagercoil Jn at 19:40 hrs (01.12.2017).
  • Train No.22622 Kanniyakumari-Rameswaram Express scheduled to leave Kanniyakumari at 22:00 hrs is partially cancelled between Kanniyakumari-Nagercoil and  hence it will commence its journey from Nagercoil Jn at 22:18 hrs (01.12.2017).
  • Train No 16381.Kanniyakumari-Mumbai CSMT Express scheduled to arrive Kanniyakumari at 12:35 hrs on 01.12.2017 has been short terminated at Nagercoil Jn.
  • Train No.16862 Kanniyakumari-Pondicherry Express was partially cancelled between Kanniyakumari-Nagercoil and hence the train started its journey from Nagercoil Jn at 14:10 hrs(01.12.2017)
  • Train No 16525 Kanniyakumari-KSR Bangaluru Island Express scheduled to leave Kanniyakumari at 10:30 hrs on 01.12.2017 was partially cancelled between Kanniyakumari-Nagercoil and it commenced its journey from Nagercoil Jn at 10:55 hrs (01.12.2017).
  • Train No 56716 Kanniyakumari-Punalur Passenger scheduled to leave Kanniyakumari at 14:55 hrs was partially cancelled between Kanniyakumari-Nagercoil on 01.12.2017 and the train commenced its journey from Nagercoil Jn (01.12.2017).

Trains Rescheduled

  • Train No 16724 Kollam-Chennai Egmore Ananthapuri Express scheduled to leave Kollam Jn at 15:00 hrs on 01.12.2017 hrs is rescheduled to leave KOLLAM Jn at  16:30 hrs on 01.12.2017.

Trains Cancelled on 2 December 2017

  • Train No 56305 Kottayam-Kollam Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56334 Kollam-Edamann Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56333 Edamann-Kollam Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56309 Kollam-Trivandrum Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56315 Trivandrum-Nagercoil Paseenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56715 Punalur-Kanniyakumari Passenger cancelled on 02.12.207

The Following Special Train Will Be Run to Clear the Extra Rush of Traffic:

Special fare special train from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai Central will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 15.45 hrs. on 03rd December, 2017 and reach Chennai Central at 10.15 hrs. the next day.

Advance reservations for the above train will commence at 8 AM on 2 December 2017.

134 Personnel Have Been Rescued So Far by the Rescue Teams

A total of 134 personnel have been rescued by Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard utilising ships and aircraft. This includes rescue of 37 people by Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopters flying between Trivandrum & sea area where personnel are stranded. Indian Navy ships Sagardhwani, Jamuna, Nireekshak are still deployed in the area.

Here are some images of Relief material being loaded onboard INS Shardul for L&M Islands on the night of 30 November.

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    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
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    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
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    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
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    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)

Here are some images of the rescue chips braving the storm:

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    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
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    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
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    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)
    (Photo Courtesy: Indian Navy)

5 Survivors, Two Missing Fishing Boats Rescued

The Indian Navy rescued 5 survivors and said efforts were on for further rescue.

Two fishing boats Arokia Mary and Hermen Mary from Kanyakumari are reported missing due to Cyclone Ockhi since 30 Nov with 8 crew each rescued by Coast Guard Ship C-427 off Vizhinjam.

(Photo: ANI)

Families in Kerala Rehabilitated

In Kerala, 130 families from Chellanam, 17 families from Kumbalangi and 18 families from Edavanakad were rehabilitated from the coastal areas.

38 Fishermen Rescued by Efforts of TN Govt

38 fishermen rescued by local efforts after Tamil Nadu government coordinates with the Ministry of Home Affairs, NDMA, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.

16 Survivors Rescued, 40 People Seen Stranded in Arabian Sea

Indian Navy rescued 16 survivors and sighted 40 people stranded in Arabian Sea. Indian Navy ships Sharda & Shardul sailed out to augment search effort, in final stages of embarking humanitarian assistance & disaster relief items for assistance at Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands.

Two Teams Leave for Kerala

The NDRF Headquarters says already two teams of 60 personnel have left for Kerala from Arakonam.

National Disaster Management Authority Says Power Connection Can Be Disrupted

The National Disaster Management Authority issues alert, says there could be probable damage to power & communication lines due to uprooting of trees and breaking of branches in Lakshwadeep.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Pins Lapses on State Disaster Management

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there were serious lapses from the side of state disaster management department. The alert from Hyderabad was not sent to the Government on time, he alleged.

Ockhi to Intensify into Severe Storm in Next 24 Hrs: MeT

The cyclonic storm Ockhi over southeast Arabian Sea continues to move northwest with a speed of 17 kmph for the past 6 hours, the MeT department said on Thursday.

The cyclone is expected to intensify into a severe storm in the next 24 hours. Currently it is headed towards Lakshadweep Islands. Chennai will experience only intermittent rain for the next 24 hours, it said.

Hilly regions in the south like the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Dindugul, Theni will experience heavy rainfall for the  next 24 hours.

Rs 4 Lakh Ex-Gratia Announced

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announces ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to kin of five people who died in rain related incidents in Kanyakumari district

1 December, 2017

Watch: High Tides Seen at Lakshadweep Coast

List of the Cancelled Trains

  • Train No 56310 Nagercoil-Trivandrum Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017
  • Train No 56386 Kottayam-Ernakulam Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017
  • Train No 56362 Ernakulam-Nilambur Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017
  • Train No 56363 Nilambur-Ernakulam Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017
  • Train No 56389 Ernakulam-Kottayam Passenger cancelled on 01.12.2017
  • Train No 16791 Punalur-Palakkad Palaruvi Express cancelled on 01.12.2017
  • Train No 16792 Palakkad-Punalur Palaruvi Express cancelled on 01.12.2017

2 December, 2017

  • Train No 56305 Kottayam-Kollam Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56334 Kollam-Punalur Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56333 Punalur-Kollam Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56309 Kollam-Trivandrum Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56313 Trivandrum-Nagercoil Paseenger cancelled on 02.12.2017
  • Train No 56715 Punalur-Kanniyakumari Passenger cancelled on 02.12.2017

(Source: The News Minute)

Indian Navy Rescuing Those Stranded at Sea

Search operations to rescue the 24 people who have been sighted to be stranded at sea has been initiated by the Indian Navy.

Further, the Indian Navy’s Advanced Light Helicopter has dropped a liferaft for 8 survivors at sea 20nm off Trivandrum and is picking up two critically injured survivors from MV Energy Orpheus.

A Boeing P8I Aircraft deployed from INS Rajali this morning has sighted 7 survivors hanging on to a capsized boat 25 miles West of Tivandrum.

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    59 people stranded due to heavy rains rescued by Navy and coastal guards in Trivandrum
    59 people stranded due to heavy rains rescued by Navy and coastal guards in Trivandrum(Photo: ANI)
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    59 people stranded due to heavy rains rescued by Navy and coastal guards in Trivandrum
    59 people stranded due to heavy rains rescued by Navy and coastal guards in Trivandrum(Photo: ANI)
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    Fishermen along with their vessel rescued at sea off Vizhinjam this morning brought ashore safely.
    Fishermen along with their vessel rescued at sea off Vizhinjam this morning brought ashore safely.(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@IndianCoastGuard)
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    Fishermen along with their vessel rescued at sea off Vizhinjam this morning brought ashore safely.
    Fishermen along with their vessel rescued at sea off Vizhinjam this morning brought ashore safely.(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@IndianCoastGuard)

NDRF Teams Deployed: Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is reviewing the situation in areas affected by Cyclone Ockhi. “NDRF teams have already been moved to the affected areas. More teams are on standby to respond to any further emergencies,” the HMO said.

Kanyakumari District Collector Orders Road Cut

The District Collector of Kanyakumari ordered road cuts to mitigate the situation in Suchindram town of Tamil Nadu.

Relative of Missing Fisherman Uninformed

Relatives of missing fishermen said they had received no warnings of Cyclone Ockhi from the government, ANI reported.

(Photo: ANI)

Death Toll at 9

The death toll from Cyclone Ockhi has risen to nine, five people were reported dead in Tamil Nadu, and four in Kerala.

250 Families Stranded

Around 250 families have been stranded in the storm and rescue operations are currently being carried out, the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency said.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@tnsdma)

Dos and Don'ts

Holiday Declared in Schools

Rain holiday has been declared for schools in Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Madurai, Theni, Tanjore, Thiruvarur, Sivaganga, Nilgiris, Dindigul, Salem and Tiruvannamalai.

Ships on Standby in Kochi and Lakshadweep

Search operations for the several missing fishermen, who had put out to sea from the coast here, resumed this morning with Navy deploying a Dornier and an Advanced light helicopter (ALH) with divers.

Five navy ships have been deployed from Kochi. Two ships are on standby in Lakshadweep. Kochi in Kerala and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu have deployed two ICG ships each. A P8I aircraft, Navy Dornier and Coast Guard Dornier are currently airborne for search and rescue operations.

8 Dead in Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Torrential rains pounded southern districts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala, crippling life and claiming eight lives – four each in the two states – as a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal intensified into cyclonic storm 'Ockhi' on Thursday.

Both the state governments put the official machinery on high alert as the cyclone, lying 60 kms south of Kanyakumari, was forecast to dump more rains in south Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the next 24 hours.

Heavy rains, strong winds disrupt normal life in Kanyakumari.
Heavy rains, strong winds disrupt normal life in Kanyakumari.
(Photo: ANI)

7 Dead in Sri Lanka

At least 7 people died and 5 fishermen went missing in Sri Lanka, as a tropical storm hit the country.

Cyclone Ockhi Headed Towards Lakshadweep

The storm is expected to move toward the Lakshadweep archipelago and hit the islands on 2 December.

A bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department said gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph was very likely along and off south Kerala during next 48 hours and along and off south Tamil Nadu during next 24 hours.

Fishermen in coastal regions in southern parts of the two states are advised not to venture into sea for the next 24 hours, it said.

Police said they have no exact information on the total number of fishermen missing as some have landed at various coasts, including at Colachel in TN.

At least four fishermen who managed to reach the shores early today said they saw several overturned boats.

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