Monday, 11 December, 2017

Cyclone Ockhi: Rajnath speaks Tamil Nadu, Kerala CMs

Ockhi Rajnath speaks to Tamil Nadu Kerala CMs Rajnath Singh
Howard Terry | 05 December, 2017, 01:49

After wreaking havoc in the southern states, cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in Gujarat and Maharashtra, resulting in unseasonal rain and thundershowers over the next 48 hours. "Expected to recurve and head towards Gujarat and Maharashtra", the Indian Coast Guard has said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh today 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.

A total of 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in sea due to Cyclone Ockhi, were rescued, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.

"When the Tamil Nadu government issued a warning to the fishermen, what happened to our government, where were they?" asked an angry group of anxious relatives waiting to hear about their near ones at Vizhinjam near here. Necessary advisories have been issued to fishermen and others.

Yesterday the India Meteorological Department claimed that cyclone Ockhi would intensify in the next 36 hours and move Northwest in the next three to four days.

According to the government, 220 fishermen from Kanyakumari district were rescued out of 294 who went missing due to cyclone while fishing.

Around a thousand people have been stranded in rescue centres.

The cyclone has ravaged a large part of coastal areas there.

Thiruvananthapuram district Collector S Vasuki said strict instructions have been given that "none should venture into the sea for fishing".

Coastal guards said 516 fishermen in the boats were safe, Manorama News reported.

Speaking to a television channel, a fisherman in Kanyakumari who came back to the shore said: "Only God saved my life". Indian Coast Guards, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, NDRF and local Government agencies are also continuing the search and rescue operations. A total of 20 fishermen from the state were rescued while the toll in Ockhi-related incidents was officially put at 25.

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