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Cyclone Ockhi claims 17 lives in Kerala, Tamil Nadu; storm to intensify over Lakshadweep today


Sonalee Borgohain

According to latest available information, at least 219 people have been safely evacuated in rescue operations jointly launched by Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in the seas off Kerala.

Cyclone Ockhi, which lashed across the southern peninsula, claimed at least 17 lives in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and disrupted daily life.According to the Indian Meteorological Department, The very severe cyclonic storm Ockhi over Lakshadweep and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea moved further west-northwestwards with a speed of 11 kmph during the past 6 hours.

The system is very likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours. It is very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across Lakshadweep Islands during the next 24 hours and then recurve northeastwards during the subsequent 48 hours.

The combined search and rescue operations is underway to locate fishermen who ventured out into the rough waters on Wednesday and Thursday. However, the rough sea is posing a threat to the rescue mission

According to the latest available information, at least 219 people were safely evacuated in rescue operations jointly launched by the Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in the seas off Kerala on Friday.The rescued fishermen have been taken to nearby navy vessels and are being given necessary medical attention and refreshments.Meanwhile, 1,044 people stranded in flooded regions of Kanyakumari have also been rescued and lodged in 16 temporary shelters.

Cyclonic storm Ockhi had hit the southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu on Thursday, and caused widespread destruction in the southern districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.The rescue operations that began on Friday morning comprised 11 ships of the Navy, Coast Guard and Coastal Police, six helicopters and two Dornier aircraft.

On Friday evening, the Chief Minister’s Office informed that reports from the meteorological office predicted that rains will continue in Kerala for a day or two more and winds would also be there.