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

Tamil Nadu State Revenue Control Room has said a total of 690 people have been rescued so far. "It has tasked ships and aircraft for providing critical assistance to the fishermen at sea", he said. "Expected to recurve and head towards Gujarat and Maharashtra", the Indian Coast Guard has said.

In addition, 2,384 fishermen and their 205 boats were rescued out of the 2,570 fishermen who had sailed in 284 boats from other places in the state, the statement said.

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.

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. "There are indications that low-lying areas may see a water surge intermittently at Kollam, Alappuzha, Kochi, Ponnani, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod", said KSDMA officials. Prior to this, 68 fishing boats with 952 fishermen on board were rescued.

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. "They normally come back before Christmas and only then it will be known how many escaped the fury of Ockhi and how many succumbed to it".

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

"I appealed to them that the search operations with even warships are going on and will continue till the last of the missing fishermen is brought back".

The boats, now docked at Mirya Bunder in Ratnagiri were from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka.

According to the statement, three ships and one aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard - Eastern Region were continuing with search and rescue operation off the Kanyakumari coast.

Several agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Navy and the Air Force, worked together to rescue over 200 stranded fishermen on Friday.

  • Rogelio Becker