Cyclone Ockhi: 8 Killed as Heavy Rains Lash Parts of TN and Kerala
Heavy rains across the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala claimed eight lives on Thursday, 30 November.
Balachandran, the director of the Regional Met Office in Chennai said that the depression formed on Wednesday by the coast of Kanyakumari had developed into a cyclone named Ockhi.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami said orders have been issued to the Collectors of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts to take necessary precautionary and relief measures as the cyclone approaches.
A 70-member team from the State Disaster Response Force and two teams consisting of 60 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force have been sent to Kanyakumari district to take care of rescue and relief operations, he said.
The director of Kerala’s Met Department S Suvedan also warned people to stay indoors and remain cautious of the rains.
The Met also warned of winds up to 65 to 75 kmph in Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi coastal areas and issued an advisory to the fishermen to not venture into the sea.
4 Killed in TN’s Kanyakumari District
More than 500 trees have fallen in Kanyakumari district, reportedly claiming the lives of at least four persons in the Rajamangalam, Eathamozhi and Vellichandai areas.
People living in low-lying areas have been shifted to shelters. The collector has asked residents to stay indoors and also requested fishermen not to venture into the sea.
Sajjan Singh R Chavan, Kanyakumari Collector, said that people from low-lying areas have been shifted to shelters.
He also dismissed rumours calling the cyclone a tsunami. He said:
Because of the cyclone, the wave height has been higher. We have already clarified that it is not a tsunami as some rumours doing the rounds suggested. We have already told fishermen not to venture into the sea. We have evacuated people from low-lying areas into shelters and also asked people not to leave their homes.
Actor Kamal Haasan tweeted his condolences to the people of Kanyakumari on Thursday evening. “Kanyakumari has been battered by rains. My deepest condolences to people who are suffering due to the rains”, his tweet read.
Four Killed in Kerala
Heavy rains have been lashing southern districts of Kerala since Wednesday night throwing normal life out of gear and causing huge traffic jams in capital city Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.
An auto rickshaw driver identified as Vishnu, a native of Kulathupuzha in the outskirts of Kollam, was killed after a huge tree fell on the auto rickshaw. Three other deaths were reported in the state.
The Kerala Disaster Management Cell has been given stern instructions to be equipped to face any kind of emergency.
In Kollam, tehsiladars have issued direction to keep all disaster rehabilitation centres ready in case it becomes necessary to evacuate people living in coastal areas.
Trees and flex boards have fallen down in various parts of both districts causing traffic jam for hours. Police and fire force officials have been finding it difficult to reach places from where damage has been reported.
Authorities have asked fishermen not to venture into the sea. Winds are reportedly blowing at a speed of 26 kilometer per hour.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS and The News Minute)