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Over 500 fishermen rescued; Ockhi hovers over SE Arabian sea

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram/Chennai 

More than 500 fishermen stranded in the rough sea off and coasts have been rescued even as cyclone 'Ockhi' today lay centered over the South East Arabian Sea and about 250 km near Amini Divi in the Islands.

The death toll in rain-related incidents in rose to nine with the recovery of two more bodies, officials said.


The state decided to urge the Centre to declare Cyclone Ockhi, which left a trail of destruction in the state, a national calamity.

Chief Minister entrusted chief secretary K M Abraham with the task of preparing a memorandum in this regard, chief minister office (CMO) sources said.

Fresh spell of rain in TN

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Meanwhile, a fresh spell of heavy rain is in store in some areas of Tamil Nadu, and with a low pressure area forming over south Andaman sea, which is "very likely" to become a depression over the Bay of Bengal.

The system is likely to move towards and south in the next three to four days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

With 'Ockhi' wreaking havoc in South Tamil Nadu, the said it will soon seek central funds for the damage caused by the cyclone.

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 release said.

Palaniswami also discussed the situation with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

He told Singh that Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli had suffered the worst damage, and detailed the relief work being carried out in "full swing" there, a release said.

The state requested the Centre to deploy helicopters of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard to search and rescue missing fishermen, mostly from Kanyakumari.

In Kanyakumari, power supply had been restored even as efforts are on to resume power supply in neighbouring areas like Nagercoil and Kuzhithurai.

Palaniswami has announced Rs 25 crore for expediting relief and restoration work in the district.

Kanyakumari, besides Tirunelveli, had borne the brunt of Ochki cyclone, which uprooted hundreds of trees and crippled normal life.

The Coast Guard rescued 198 fishermen and 18 fishing boats of off the Western coast.

According to an official release, 18 fishing boats and 198 fishermen from have taken shelter in the and Minicoy Group of Islands (western coast).

In Kanyakumari, family members of missing fishermen staged a sit-in before state ministers R B Udhaya Kumar and P Thangamani for a while.

Vijayan said as many as 531 fishermen, stranded in the choppy waters off the and coasts due to Cyclone Ockhi, have been rescued.

The has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the cyclonic storm.

Twentynine relief camps have been set up to accommodate those marooned in coastal areas.

Strong winds touching 60-70 kmph today pounded the Union Territory of where 1,047 people have been shifted to 31 relief camps.

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

Minicoy island received 14cm of rain in the last 24 hours ending at 0830 this morning, Met department sources said.

Coconut trees have been uprooted at various places and houses damaged in eastern Kalpeni and Minicoy, sources said, adding the extent of the damage was being assessed.

The breakwater jetty, embarkation and disembarkation point of ships have been damaged at Kalpeni from where at least 200 people have been shifted to safer places.

Vijayan said so far 393 people from have been rescued. Besides, 138 fishermen have been rescued from the islands, he said.

Strong winds with speed touching 100-110 kmph and 45-55 kmph are likely to batter the and coasts respectively during the next 24 hours under the influence of cyclonic storm 'Ockhi', a MeT bulletin said.

Squally wind with speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, is very likely along the coast during the next 24 hours.

Stepping up their efforts, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard continued search for missing fishermen using ships, dornier aircraft and helicopters in the sea off and

While INS Nireekshak, INS Jamuna and INS Sagardhwani are continuing search and rescue operations in their designated areas along the coast off Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, INS Shardul and INS Sharda are heading towards

INS Sagardhwani recovered one body, 30 km off the Thiruvananthapuram coast. The ship had earlier found another body, a defence spokesperson said.

Fifteen fishermen rescued by the Coast Guard are being brought to the Thiruvananthapuram coast, the official said.

Four fishermen were rescued by a Navy chopper this morning, 20 miles off Kochi.

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

The women said they were waiting with prayers and tears for their beloved ones to return.

The state chief minister met some injured fishermen, who were rescued from the choppy waters, at the medical college hospital in Thiruvanathapuram and enquired about their well- being.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 02 2017. 22:15 IST
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