ICG issues warning as cyclone Ockhi heads for Maharashtra, Gujarat


Naval ships, helicopters, Coast Guard vessels and Air Force planes are engaged in the rescue and relief operations to track down the 100-odd missing fishermen.

"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". Majority are from Thiruvananthapuram.

Commodore G Prakash, Commanding Officer of INS Venduruthy told reporters in Kochi that the Indian Navy has rescued 25 people from Lakshadweep and picked 13 people off the Kerala coast.

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Speaking to a television channel, a fisherman in Kanyakumari who came back to the shore said: "Only God saved my life". As of now, 37 relief camps are functioning in southern districts of the state accommodating 6,581 members from 1,597 families. Based on the information received from Alappuzha, Idukki, Kollam, Ernakulum and Thrissur, 747.86 hectares of crop loss was reported, the loss estimate was pegged at Rs 4.73 crore.

The meeting was also attended by the officials of Ministry of Home Affairs, National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Defence, Indian Navy, India Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Meteorological Department etc.

Cyclone Ochki is now passing through L&M and is likely to recurve northwards towards Gujarat and Maharashtra Coast. "The Coast Guard Region (West) at Mumbai is assessing the impact of cyclone in the sea area".

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Thiruvananthapuram district Collector S Vasuki said strict instructions have been given that "none should venture into the sea for fishing". "Strong winds from easterly to South-easterly direction, reaching speeds of 45-55 km/hr are likely along the coast". It will gradually decrease thereafter.

"I have spoken to Maharashtra Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) to see that these fishermen are given the space to remain there till the sea is safe for them to return", said Sitharaman. IMD has forecast rain/thundershowers in many parts of Kerala till December 7.

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