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Cyclone Ockhi updates: Palaniswamy urges Rajnath Singh to involve Navy, Coast Guard in search operations

Heavy rains continued to batter coastal areas of Kerala and south Tamil Nadu crippling normal life, even as Cyclone Ockhi lay centered about 80 km north-northeast of Minicoy

FP Staff December 02, 2017 18:19:03 IST
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Cyclone Ockhi updates: Palaniswamy urges Rajnath Singh to involve Navy, Coast Guard in search operations

Highlights

16:56 (ist)

Cyclone Ockhi pours cold water on poll campaign in Gujarat

Amid the heat of the Gujarat polls, cyclone Ockhi, eddying menacingly towards the states coast, poured cold water on the campaigning on Tuesday, forcing cancellation of rallies of several top leaders, including those by BJP chief Amit Shah and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, appealed to BJP workers to extend a helping hand to those that would be likely hit by the cyclone, which is expected to make a landfall tonight on the states southern coast in Surat. -

14:58 (ist)

Gujarat's chief secretary calls meeting to review preparedness

Gujarat's chief secretary JN Singh has convened a video conference with the collectors of coastal districts to review their preparedness to deal with any eventuality.

The Met centre has warned that when the cyclone hits the Gujarat coast, "wind speed would remain between 50 and 60 kmph and may reach up to 70 kmph in south Gujarat".

10:01 (ist)

NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Arabian Sea on 4 December and found Cyclone Ockhi moving north as desert dust pushed into the region north of the storm

08:05 (ist)

NDRF teams deployed in Gujarat

Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams each have been deployed at Surat, Navsari, and Rajkot, reported News18. The Army, Navy, and the Border Security Force (BSF) have been alerted in the view of the cyclone's landfall.

According to the IMD forecast, wind velocity would remain between 50 kmph to 70 kmph when the cyclone would make landfall.

07:56 (ist)

Navy continues search and rescue operations in Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands

Indian Navy on Monday continued search and rescue (SAR) operations in full swing for the fifth day over Southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands in the aftermath of very severe cyclonic storm Ockhi.

The Navy said the whole of Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands are under the cover of its ships and aircraft with rescue and relief operations on in full swing. The lndian Navy is determined to bring back normalcy to Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands most expeditiously, a Defence release said. All other ships at the disposal of Indian Navy would continue the search and rescue operations and provide relief till normalcy is restored.

13:38 (ist)

260 Tamil Nadu fishermen safe in Maharashtra

According to the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority, 23 boats from the state with 260 crew members are safe at Myria Bandar, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. 

11:09 (ist)
Strong winds reaching speeds up to 120 km per hour likely in the next 24 hours
 
The IMD, in its official statement, said the following: 
 
Gale winds speed reaching 100-110 kmph, gusting to 120 kmph, very likely over and around north Lakshadweep Islands during the next 24 hours and gradual decrease thereafter. Gale winds speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph very likely south Lakshadweep Islands during next 12 hours and gradual decrease thereafter.  
 
 
10:50 (ist)

Never experienced such violent storms earlier, say rescued fishermen

As the navy, air force and coast guard continue conducting search and rescue operations, fishermen who returned to the shore safely had just one thing to say: They had never weathered such a violent storm in their experience. According to The New Indian Expressthe rescued fishermen were seen shivering and asking for food. Most of them had bruises all over their bodies from trying to stay onboard their boats for two nights. 

Titus, a fisherman from Kollam district, told TNIE he had never seen “such a violent sea even in movies”.

10:15 (ist)

Tourism hit in Kerala due to cyclone

As Cyclone Ockhi slowly recedes from Kerala, cancellations and worried queries from tourists marked the start of the tourist season in the state. According to The Times of Indiahoteliers and tour operators observed a drop in inquiries from people planning visits this week. "There have been many cancellations, especially from those who booked online. I received a few calls as well inquiring whether they could still enjoy the stay here in the wake of cyclone Ockhi," Sisupalan, the managing director of Sagara Beach Resort, Kovalam told TOI.

09:53 (ist)

Mumbai likely to receive light rainfall on 4 December evening

Skymet Weather said that Mumbai can brace for some light showers by the evening of 4 December. It also added that the intensity of these rains will be light with moderate showers in some isolated pockets.

09:37 (ist)

15 fishermen rescued off Colachel, Kanyakumari district

An Indian Coast Guard aircraft spotted 15 fishermen on two vessels six nautical miles off Colachel, Kanyakumari and rescued them by vectoring a vessel in vicinity on Sunday. The fishermen are safe, tweeted the Coast Guard. 

11:40 (ist)

IMD statement from Thiruvananthapuram for Kerala and Lakshadweep

Following is the official forecast statement from IMD Thiruvananthapuram:

Heavy (7-11cm in 24 hrs) to very heavy rainfall (12-20cm in 24 hrs) is most likely to occur at a few places till the morning on 2 December & heavy rainfall (7-11cm in 24 hrs) at one or two places from morning of Saturday till the morning of 3 December in Kerala.  

Heavy (7-11cm in 24 hrs) to very heavy rainfall (12-20cm in 24 hrs) is most likely to occur at a few places, and extremely heavy rainfall (21 cm or more in 24 hrs) at one or two places till morning of 2 December and heavy rainfall (7-11cm in 24 hrs) at a few places from morning of Saturday till the morning of 3 December in Lakshadweep.

10:12 (ist)

Kanyakumari in knee-deep water with no power

As Cyclone Ockhi moves towards Lakshadweep, rain ravaged states are likely to experience relief today. However, as this NDTV report, Kanyakumari in submerged in knee-deep water with no powerless as thousands remain strand across relief centres in the district. 

The report states that 4,000 power lines in the Kanyakumari district have been damaged by the cyclonic storm. It may a week or more for the entire grid to be restored. Meanwhile, NDRF and state forces have been deployed for rescue operations.

19:33 (ist)

More rainfall predicted for Tamil Nadu

A low pressure system over the South Andaman Sea is expected to turn into a depression in the next 48 hours, which may bring more rainfall to Tamil Nadu, as the death toll due to Cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district rose to five on Friday.

"A well marked low pressure is lying over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood. It is expected to concentrate into a depression in the next 48 hours," Regional Meteorological Centre director S Balachandran said.

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18:50 (ist)

Congress, BJP flay LDF govt over delay in launching rescue operations

The Opposition Congress and BJP in Kerala on Friday slammed the LDF government over the alleged delay in initiating precautionary measures and launching rescue operations for fishermen, who got stranded in the rough sea off the coast due to Cyclone Ockhi.


The Opposition alleged that the CPM-led government failed completely in tackling the emergency situation though it had received a prior warning about the cyclone.

They said various agencies including the Union home department, National Institute of Oceanography and Indian Meteorological Department had informed the state about the possible landing of the cyclone on Kerala shores days before.

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13:08 (ist)

200 fishing boats yet to return to Kochi coast: All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association

Joseph Xavier, general secretary of All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association said that nearly 200 fishing boats which left Kochi coast in the last few days are yet to return to safety, reported The New Indian Express

“Usually, we used to receive advance warnings on the weather. But this time, there was no such notification. This is a matter of concern, given there were reports about the arrival of the cyclone at least two days ago,” Xavier said.

"Since most of the boats are co-owned by people belonging to Tamil Nadu and most of the workers are also from that state, it is also possible that the fishermen might have taken the boats to Colachel, Muttom and Thengapattanam," added Xavier.

13:01 (ist)

K Palaniswamy announces Rs 5 lakh ex gratia 

According to The New Indian ExpressTamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswamy announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation for the families of those deceased in Kanyakumari district due to heavy rains caused by cyclone Ockhi.

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Dec 05, 2017 - 18:14 (IST)

Mumbai's Chowpatty beach closed for public

The Times of India reported that Mumbai's Chowpatty beach has been closed for the public because Cyclone Ockhi.

Dec 05, 2017 - 18:12 (IST)

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai urges people not to create panic

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has urged people not to create panic. It further said that road and rail traffic is running smoothly.

IMD says cyclone Ockhi is 230 kilometre west-southWest of Mumbai, likely to continue to move north-northeastward, weaken gradually and will cross South Gujarat and North Maharashtra coast.

Input from Sanjay Sawant

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:53 (IST)

BJP cancels rallies of Manoj Tiwari, Vasundhara Raje

BJP MP Manoj Tiwari's roadshow in Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad was also cancelled due to light showers since early morning, Bapunagar MLA Jagroopsinh Rajput said.

The BJP has also called off rallies and press conferences of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Surat on Tuesday, a party leader said.

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:40 (IST)

Rahul Gandhi urges Congress workers in Gujarat to provide all possible help

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:30 (IST)

Gujarat chief secretary holds review meeting

The chief secretary of Gujarat held a review meeting with government officials to look at the state's preparedness in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi, The Times of India reported.

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:28 (IST)

Twelve Goa beaches affected by rising sea water

Twelve beaches in Goa have been affected by the rising sea level caused by Cyclone Ockhi, revenue minister Rohan Khaunte said on Tuesday. He said preliminary estimates suggested that the damage caused by the cyclone, which skimmed Goa's coastline, was between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 30 lakh.

Those affected by the natural calamity have two days to approach government agencies with details of damage to their properties to get compensation, he told the media. - IANS

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:18 (IST)

NDRF deploys seven teams in Gujarat to deal with situation due to Ockhi

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:17 (IST)

Time-lapse of Cyclone Ockhi

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:10 (IST)

Kerala women's commission to contribute a day's salary: Report

According to The Times of India, Kerala women's commission members will contribute a day's salary to the chief minister's disaster relief fund to help the ones affected by the cyclone.

Dec 05, 2017 - 17:00 (IST)

Areas in Gujarat and Maharashtra expected to be most affected by the storm

Heavy rains continued to batter coastal areas of Kerala and south Tamil Nadu on Friday, crippling normal life, even as Cyclone Ockhi lay centered about 80 kilometres north-northeast of Minicoy in Lakshadweep.

The death toll in the two states in rain-related incidents rose to 12 on Friday.

As the toll due to Cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district mounted to five on Friday, a low pressure system over the South Andaman Sea is expected to turn into a depression in the next 48 hours, which may bring more rain to Tamil Nadu.

The deaths occurred in cyclone-related incidents in the district. Chief Minister K Palaniswamy announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the victims, an official release said.

A report from Thiruvanathapuram said as many as 218 fishermen from Kerala, stranded in the sea off the coast due to inclement weather conditions,were brought safely to the shore on Friday even as the death toll rose to seven in the state.

In Chennai, Palaniswamy took stock of the situation in the wake of the havoc wrought by the cyclone.

Cyclone Ockhi updates Palaniswamy urges Rajnath Singh to involve Navy Coast Guard in search operations

People wade through a flooded street in Suchindram at flood-hit Kanyakumari district on Friday. PTI

An official release said over 1,200 persons affected by the heavy rain in Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts, have been lodged in relief camps.

To expedite relief works in the worst hit Kanyakumari, two teams of National Disaster Response Force and seven teams of state disaster response agency have been deputed.

In Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts, heavy rains and gusty winds uprooted 579 trees, it said, adding, efforts are on to remove them.

"A well marked low pressure is lying over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood. It is expected to concentrate into a depression in the next 48 hours," Regional Meteorological Centre director S Balachandran said.

The system is likely to move towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra coast in the next four days. "This is the current situation and we are monitoring the system."

In the next 24 hours, more rain is expected in most places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Heavy rainfall can be expected in Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni and Dindigul, he said.

Cyclone Ockhi, which in Bengali means 'eye', in Friday intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved to the Arabian Sea.

Widespread rain has been reported in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with Papanasam (Tirunelveli district) recording 45 cm rain, Balachandran said.

The Coast Guard has deployed two ships — Vaibhav and Aadesh — besides a Dornier aircraft for search and rescue operations in the sea off Kanyakumari.

Tamil Nadu minister for revenue and disaster management RB Udhaya Kumar, deputed to Kanyakumari to monitor relief work, said steps have been taken to drain water from inundated areas.

More than 500 trees were uprooted in the district as the rains accompanied by gusty winds left a trail of destruction in the district on Thursday.

Trees in the premises of the famous Padmanabhapuram Palace too were uprooted. A portion of roof-tiles were also damaged, officials said.

With rains continuing to hit normal life in south Tamil Nadu, authorities on Friday declared a holiday for schools and colleges in five districts, including Kanyakumari.

Southern railway officials said some train services in Kanyakumari and Nagercoil were cancelled while others ran late.

In Delhi, Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan sought defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman's help to rescue fishermen stranded in the sea.

A release from Radhakrishnan's office said he urged Sitharaman to help deploy adequate number of ships, naval personnel and IAF to rescue the fishermen.

Sitharaman "assured" all help in this regard, it said.

On Friday, four persons had lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Kerala while three persons died, official sources said.

According to the chief minister's office, 218 fishermen, stranded in mid-sea off the coast since Thursday, were brought safely to the shore through active coordination of various agencies including Navy, Airforce and Coast Guard.

The rescued fishermen included 60 who were saved by a Japanese cargo vessel.

After a meeting to review the situation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said government is yet to know the exact number of persons who had put to sea. But the effort was to rescue all those stranded in the sea, he asserted.

The state government has opened 29 relief camps in various places. A total of 2,755 people, from 491 families are in these camps, government sources said.

The chief minister said the state has asked the defence ministry to deploy more aircraft for rescue operations in view of the cyclonic storm moving towards Lakshadweep.

Top Navy officials said they deployed two ships to the Lakshadweep Islands for carrying out rescue and rehabilitation operations in the island.

Vice Admiral AR Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, said the Indian Navy is putting in "maximum effort" to rescue fishermen from the sea which is very rough under the influence of Ockhi.

In Lakshadweep, orders have been issued to evacuate people from low-lying areas in Kalpeni, Minicoy, Kavratti, Agatti, Androth, Kadamath and Amini islands, officials said.

Five boats anchored at a jetty in Kalpeni were damaged in heavy rains, coupled with strong winds.

Lakshadweep MP PP Mohammed Faizal said Kalpeni and Minicoy islands were badly hit by the cyclone but no casualties have been reported.

Faizal said seven persons were rescued from a sinking Uru, a large Dhow-type wooden ship, in the sea off Kavaratti.

The MP said he held telephonic talks with home minister Rajnath Singh who assured him that a team of officials from the ministry will be sent to assess the damage.

Precautionary measures have been taken at Kavaratti and Agatti where the cyclone is expected to hit on Friday night.

Anxious relatives of the missing fishermen, including women, on Friday blocked traffic and raised slogans in Kollam and Thiruvanathapuram, protesting the delay in their rescue.

Opposition Congress and BJP in Kerala slammed the LDF government over the alleged delay in initiating precautionary measures and launching rescue operations for fishermen, who got stranded in the rough sea off the coast.

As per the latest MeT bulletin, the system is very likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours.

"It is very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across Lakshadweep islands during the next 24 hours and then move north-northeastwards during the subsequent 48 hours," it added.

With inputs from PTI

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