Kerala

Centre releases ₹133 crore as Ockhi relief

The Centre has sanctioned an advance release of ₹133 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for relief activities to help the victims of Cyclone Ockhi in Kerala.

The amount would be transferred to the State immediately, Additional Secretary in the Union Home Ministry Bipin Mallick who heads the Central team visiting the State said here on Wednesday. Kerala had sought an assistance of ₹422 crore from the NDRF, in addition to a cyclone relief and rehabilitation package of ₹7,340 crore.

The team members who visited the cyclone-affected areas along the coastal belt said they had gathered information about the magnitude of the calamity and promised to convey it to the Centre. They assured coastal communities that the search and rescue mission for the missing fishermen would continue.

Earlier in the day, a UDF delegation led by KPCC president M.M. Hassan called on Mr. Mallick and submitted a memorandum seeking immediate release of relief funds to Kerala.

An official pressnote issued here said search teams had rescued 1,116 fishermen who had been stranded in sea by the cyclone.

Meanwhile, the control room at the Fisheries Directorate has started collecting the mobile numbers of fishermen going out to sea. An official pressnote issued here said the move was aimed at warning fishermen in the near shore areas about inclement weather conditions. The department was in the process of procuring software for the purpose.

The pressnote said the department had collected the numbers of about 4,000 fishermen in Kerala. The exercise was expected to be completed in two weeks.

The government has initiated moves to equip deep sea fishing vessels operating in waters beyond 800 nautical miles with satellite navigation equipment.

A meeting convened by the Latin Archdiocese here on Wednesday urged the State and Central governments to install a comprehensive hazard warning system for the Kerala coast in the light of its vulnerability to disasters such as Cyclone Ockhi. It also called for steps to provide satellite phones and wireless and radio equipment for fishermen and install a community radio network in the coastal belt.

Manju visits Poonthura

Malayalam movie actor Manju Warrier visited Poonthura and called on the families of fishermen who perished in the cyclone. The actor spent an hour in the coastal village talking to women and children. She promised to help the stricken families in whatever way possible.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 8:10:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/centre-releases-133-crore-as-ockhi-relief/article22287808.ece

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