ICG issues warning as cyclone Ockhi heads for Maharashtra, Gujarat

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 7, 2017

A total of 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in the sea due to the cyclone, were rescued, Sitharaman said on Sunday.

Navy helicopters have launched search operations to locate the missing fishermen. Many others were rescued by ships of the Indian Coast Guard and the navy. "Search and rescue operations would continue".

The Kerala government today chose to urge the Centre to declare Cyclone Ockhi, which left a trail of destruction in the state, as a national calamity.

The Cyclone Ockhi, is expected to make landfall on the coast of Maharashtra within the next 48 hours.

Speaking to reporters after attending a high-level meeting chaired by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the Secretariat, Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam said the Centre has already given necessary relief funds to the state government. He said the warning was issued only at 12 noon on November 30.

The Union minister later visited nearby Punthura, a coastal hamlet where fishermen are alleging delay in the rescue of their kin who had ventured into sea days ago. The state could have warned fishermen on the deep depression, Mr Kannanthanam said. A Japanese merchant vessel rescued 60 fishermen.

Relief work: Residents being rescued from a flooded neighbourhood at Suchindram in Kanyakumari district on Friday.

Many rescued persons are admitted in Thiruvananthapuram medical college and hospital that opened a special ward for cyclone victims.

The central government have deployed 10 Coast Guard ships, three aircraft and a helicopter. "There would not be any dilution of operations", she said. "Sea conditions would be "rough" to "very rough" along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts on 4th night and December 5", Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted on Sunday. Meanwhile, scattered light rains may occur over parts of Tamil Nadu and South Kerala. The boats are now docked at Mirya Bunder, Ratnagiri. The defence minister later met the chief minister and senior officials and assured all help from the Centre.

Fishermen from the islands have been advised not to venture out into the rough seas, while their counterparts on the along the Tamil Nadu coast have been told not to go out into the deep seas tomorrow and the day after. They had been in a critical condition after their boats were battered by high waves churned by the Ockhi, which passed as close as 70km from the Kerala coast on Friday at 110kmph.

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