Tracking Cyclone Ockhi in Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Tracking Cyclone Ockhi in Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Rescue operations were underway, with the Indian navy, air force and coast guard searching for dozens of fishermen unaccounted for in the Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam coastal area, said the New Delhi Television news channel.

Chief minister K. Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the victims, an official release said.

Meanwhile, at least 1,044 persons in Kanniyakumari have been lodged in 16 relief camps while the number was 205 in two camps in Tirunelveli. In Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts, strong winds uprooted more than 500 trees, snapped power lines and damaged settlements close to the sea.

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The cyclone which was caused by a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal has already brought heavy downpour to major areas in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. "A well marked low pressure is lying over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood".

"The fishermen are not ready to forsake their boats and return to the coast via rescue ships", he said.

In his letter, Stalin, also Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, urged her to direct the Coast Guard to search and rescue "thousands of fishermen fighting for their lives in the mid sea, so as to prevent further loss of lives due to the Ockhi cyclone". The India Meteorological Department (IMD), is predicting that it is likely to move towards the Lakshadweep Islands and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours.

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