After a week of lashing the southern coastline, Cyclone Ockhi is set to move away from Lakshadweep and towards north Maharashtra and Gujarat in the next 48 hours. The first tropical storm of the season battered Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep coasts during the past week and claimed 19 lives in rain-related incidents so far.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Kanyakumari on Sunday to review rescue operations in cyclone-affected regions. A total of 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in the sea due to the cyclone, were rescued, Sitharaman said on Sunday.
Cyclone to curve northwards to Gujarat, Maharashtra
After sweeping over southeast Arabian Sea, the cyclonic storm is expected to move northwestwards towards Gujarat and Maharashtra before gradually weakening, according to Skymet Weather.
As of 3 December, Ockhi was located 910 kilometres south-southwest of Mumbai and 1,120 kilometres south-southwest of Surat, according to the IMD.
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it is very likely to cross south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts near Surat and develop into a deep depression by 5 December midnight. Skymet meteorologist Mahesh Palawat also said most parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu will likely not receive heavy rainfall anymore as Ockhi turns away. He further added that south Gujarat and parts of north Maharashtra will receive rainfall on Monday night. Light showers are expected on Monday while the storm is likely to intensify on 5 December.
“The intensity of the wind may come down and the cyclone could change into a depression,” IMD director in Thiruvananthapuram, S Sudevan said, adding fishermen have been warned not go to the sea for the next few days as waves are likely to be 3-5 meters (12-15 feet) high.
The collector of Gir Somnath district also warned all fishermen on Sunday to not venture out into the sea. He also said that those already out must be contacted immediately to return as rains are set to lash the Saurashtra coast in the next 48 hours.
Skymet Weather also said that Mumbai will likely receive light showers by the evening of 4 December. It also added that the intensity of these rains will be between light and moderate showers in some isolated pockets.
Property worth crores damaged
Lakshadweep MP PP Mohammed Faizal said on Sunday the island suffered a loss of over Rs 500 crores.
Faizal sought the Centre's assistance to restore normal life in the islands isolated by the storm. He said normal life in three islands – Minicoy, Kalpeni and Kavaratti – was badly hit by the cyclone.
Around 500 houses suffered damage, several coconut trees got uprooted and electric and communication lines were disrupted due to the calamity in Minicoy island alone, he told PTI.
Several crores of rupees have to be spent for rebuilding the houses and paying compensation to farmers who suffered huge losses as rains accompanied by strong winds lashed the Lakshadweep islands under the influence of Cyclone Ockhi, Faizal said. An estimated Rs 200 crore loss has been reported following the collapse of the 'breakwater'– a barrier built out into the sea to protect a coast from the force of waves – at Kalpeni, he also said.
Meanwhile in Tamil Nadu, Kanyakumari was one of the worst affected districts and remained powerless as rescue centres teemed with stranded people. Around 4,000 power lines were disrupted in the district with officials claiming it would take more than week to repair the power cables, reported NDTV. Additionally, the state government also released Rs 25 crores to restore power supply in the district.
Crops were destroyed across Tamil Nadu and Kerala adversely affecting farmers in the states, reported News18.
Waves also hit coastal Karnataka near Ullal in Dakshina Kannada district. Three houses were damaged while the compound wall of a private resort collapsed as surging waves lashed the coast of Ullal near Mangaluru in the last two days.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2017 11:39:55 IST