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Cyclone Ockhi takes 10 lives in Tamil Nadu, Kerala; MeT expects heavy rains

Thousands of people have been evacuated from the low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari district, which is one of the major tourist destinations in the state

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Bay of Bengal, Marina beach, Cyclone Vardah, Chennai, strong waves
File photo

Ockhi has led to the death of four people in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari district, where the situation is worrisome, and caused six fatalities in Kerala. Further, heavy rains are back in Tamil Nadu, including the capital city of Chennai, and schools and colleges have declared holidays in nine districts. 

Experts say that over the next 24 hours, will witness heavy to moderate rain.

Fishermen from coastal regions in southern Tamil Nadu, including the Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, and Ramanathapuram districts, have been advised not to venture into the sea for the next 24 hours.

A depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclone, dubbed Ockhi, on Thursday. In Kerala's Kollam, a man died after a tree fell on the autorickshaw he was in. At Vizhinjam, again in Kerala, a woman was crushed to death. Two more people were electrocuted in rural Trivandrum and a woman died in a hospital after a tree fell on the house she lived in. 

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

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

In the meanwhile, thousands of people have been evacuated from the low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari district, which is one of the major tourist destinations in the state.

The MeT department has predicted more heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep, and parts of Kerala in the coming week. 

The said it expects rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at isolated places over south and south Kerala during the next 24 hours. Further, it expects isolated heavy falls during the subsequent 24 hours. 

Regional Director S Sudevan on Thursday said that the formation is moving west-northwestwards towards Islands and is likely to further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours. There is no need to panic, he added. 

The state administration said it is ready to address any challenges.

Rescue operations are underway by the Southern Naval Command, which has deployed three ships and two aircraft to locate around 13 fishermen who are missing. Sea conditions are expected to be very rough in the area, the weather office said.  

Power and communication lines have been disrupted due to falling tree branches and uprooted trees in many parts of the state, including in Chennai.   

First Published: Fri, December 01 2017. 10:52 IST
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