World News

Severe weather warning as Cyclone Ockhi set to intensify: latest IMD alert

Severe weather warning as Cyclone Ockhi set to intensify: latest IMD alert

After causing havoc in and around the Lakshadweep islands on Sunday, severe cyclonic storm Ockhi has set its course north and is expected to make landfall in Maharashtra and south Gujarat in the next 24 hours.

In a statement issued here, the state government said 2,604 fishermen were rescued from the sea after they were caught in the cyclone Ockhi and the search operations were continuing for the remaining 260 fishermen.

As many as 183 fishermen stranded in choppy waters off the coasts of Kerala and Lakshadweep were rescued till today, said Inspector General K R Nautiyal, Commander, Coast Guard Region (West) told reporters. Necessary advisories have been issued to fishermen and others.

The cyclone has claimed 13 lives and 115 people are still missing.

A precautionary holiday has been declared in schools in Mumbai and adjoining districts on Tuesday due to "serious weather predictions" in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi, said Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde.

Ockhi cyclone cyclone deaths Kerala Tamil Nadu Kerala fishermen
An Indian fisherman who was rescued from the Arabian Sea is rushed to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram Kerala state

So far 393 people from Kerala have been rescued, Vijayan said, as the state government announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of those who died in the storm.

She, however, refused to take questions on the criticism about the way the search operations have been carried out, since Ockhi struck off the southern coastline on November 30. Fifty-five fishermen in the capital mounted a rescue operation after they were not allowed to be part of the official rescue team.

"Eighteen fishing boats and 198 fishermen from Tamilnadu have taken safe shelter in Lakshadweep and Mincioy Group of Islands (western coast)", an official release said.

It further said that Coast Guard Chetak Helicopter, deployed from Kochi has picked up one survivor from sea and brought him safely to land.

A total of 11 Indian Coast Guard ships, two aircraft and two helicopters are presently carrying out search and rescue operations off the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Lakshadweep and Minicoy.

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