Cyclone Ockhi live updates: Lakshadweep braces for impact, 218 Kerala fishermen rescued

A fisherman, rescued from sea by an IAF helicopter, is rushed to hospital from the Thiruvananthapuram airport on December 1, 2017.

A fisherman, rescued from sea by an IAF helicopter, is rushed to hospital from the Thiruvananthapuram airport on December 1, 2017.   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar

14 killed in Tamil Nadu, Kerala; new low pressure system forms over South Andaman Sea.

Fourteen people were killed - 10 in Tamil Nadu and four in Kerala, and life was hit as torrential rain pounded the southern districts of both the States after a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal transformed into 'Cyclone Ockhi' on Thursday and became a a severe cyclonic storm on Friday, moving to the Arabian Sea.

The Navy rescued eight fishermen caught in choppy waters and intensified search for 30 others missing.

Both the State governments have put the official machinery on high alert as the severe cyclonic storm, lying 60 km south of Kanyakumari, was forecast to dump more rain in south Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the next 24 hours. It was expected to move toward the Lakshadweep archipelago and hit the islands on Saturday.

Also read: Kurukkuthurai temple withstands river’s fury for over 300 years

As there was no let-up from rain, districts across Tamil Nadu declared holidays for schools and colleges on Friday. More details are given below.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has instructed all government agencies to work together to minimise the damage caused by the cyclonic storm.

Here are the updates:

7.45 pm

 

Lakshadweep braces for impact

Orders have been issued to evacuate people from low-lying areas of various islands including Kalpeni, Minicoy, Kavratti, Agatti, Androth, Kadamath and Amini in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.

Quoting the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office in Thiruvananthapuram said there is a possibility of “huge waves” occurring 10 km off the State till December 2 evening. Rain and strong winds are likely to continue in different places in the next 24 hours.

According to the CMO, 218 fishermen, stranded in mid-sea off the state since November 30, were brought safely to the shore through active coordination of various agencies including Navy, Airforce and Coast Guard.

Thirty eight fishing boats, stranded in the mid sea, were spotted by the Navy and they were provided food and rescue kits.

Efforts to locate the other boats in the sea were going on, the CMO said adding that the government medical college and general hospital here have been kept ready to provide necessary treatment to fishermen brought to the shore.

Earlier talking to reporters after a meeting to review the situation, Mr. Vijayan said government is yet to know the exact number of persons who had ventured into the sea. But the effort was to rescue all those stranded in the sea, he asserted.

6 pm

 

150 fishermen rescued

About 150 fishermen, who put out to sea from various southern districts of Kerala, were rescued, Thiruvananthapuram District Commissioner K. Vasuki said, adding that efforts were on to bring the rest of the stranded fishermen to the shore. “There is no need to panic,” she said.

The rescued fishermen included those who were saved by a Japanese cargo vessel. The vessel has rescued 60 fishermen from mid-sea. They are being brought to the Vizhinjam coast, she said.

Many rescued fishermen have been admitted to the medical college in Thiruvananthapuram and general hospitals since they were weak after being in the sea for the last 48 hours, the official said.

Heavy rains continued to lash coastal areas of Kerala, crippling normal life, even as Cyclone Ockhi lay centred about 80km north-northeast of Minicoy in Lakshadweep.

Earlier in the day, anxious relatives of the missing fishermen, including women, blocked traffic and raised slogans in Kollam and Thiruvanathapuram, protesting the delay in their rescue.

Family members of fishermen from Poonthura, who have gone missing due to cyclone Ockhi, block the Highway near Thiruvallam.

Family members of fishermen from Poonthura, who have gone missing due to cyclone Ockhi, block the Highway near Thiruvallam.   | Photo Credit: S.Gopakumar

 

In Thiruvananthapuram, fishermen and women blocked the national highway braving heavy rains.

Family members of missing fishermen gather on the shore at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram on December 1, 2017. They are protesting the delay in launching an operation to rescue the fishermen who have gone missing at sea as Cyclone Ockhi wreaked havoc in southern Kerala the day before.

Family members of missing fishermen gather on the shore at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram on December 1, 2017. They are protesting the delay in launching an operation to rescue the fishermen who have gone missing at sea as Cyclone Ockhi wreaked havoc in southern Kerala the day before.   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar

 

5:15 pm

 

Low pressure lying over South Andaman Sea

A low pressure system over the South Andaman Sea is expected to turn into a depression in the next 48 hours and it may bring more rainfall to Tamil Nadu, the Met Office has announced.

“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.

Mr. 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 rainfall is expected in most places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Heavy rainfall can be expected in Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni and Dindigul, he said.

 

4:40 pm

Rain in Karnataka too

Light to moderate rains were received in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka on Friday due to Cyclone Ockhi.

“There was a depression in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday that had intensified into a cyclonic storm [Ockhi]. The skies over Bengaluru and across Karnataka will remain cloudy and might receive light rains due to the depression,” said India Meteorological Department (IMD) Bengaluru Director Sundar M. Metri.

Light rainfall measuring up to 10mm was recorded in several parts of the city, the IMD said.

04:15 pm

The Indian Navy said it is putting in “maximum effort” to rescue fishermen from the sea, which is very rough under the influence of Cyclone Ockhi.

“We have responded immediately. We will continue to meet the requirement of safety and security of our fishermen. As soon as we got the request from the government of Kerala for search operations, we have started that,” Vice Admiral Karve said.

At present, 69 people stranded in the sea have been located and the exact numbers are being corroborated, he said. Twenty people have been rescued and efforts are on to bring others to safety.

INS Shardul during search operations off Kerala

INS Shardul during search operations off Kerala   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

04:00 pm

Life hit in Kanyakumari district

Life has come to a standstill in the Ockhi-ravaged Kanyakumari district for the second day. Ten people were killed in rain-related incidents.

The gravity of the situation is explained by the fact that the newly-laid four-lane outer link road, linking Kanniyakumari with Nagercoil, had to be dug in a few places with the help of earthmovers to allow the water to drain and prevent inundation of houses near Suchindram. Water has surrounded the famous Thanumalayam temple in Suchindram.

3:30 pm

Alappuzha opens control room

At least one house was completely destroyed in heavy rain and winds in Kuttanad taluk in Alappuzha. According to officials, the loss is pegged at Rs. 2 lakh. Reports of waterlogging and uprooting of trees were reported from several parts of the district.

A raging sea continued to batter the coastal areas of Alappuzha, prompting the district administration to open control rooms. On Friday, District Collector T.V. Anupama visited the coastal regions of Kattoor, Pollethai and took stock of the situation. No loss of life has been reported yet in the district.

The district administration had issued a heavy rain and strong wind alert. The authorities advised fishermen not to venture into sea and urged tourists and people living along coastal areas to remain vigilant. The District Collector directed the officials concerned to take all necessary precautions and put the disaster management authority on alert.

The control room numbers are: 04772251103 (Fisheries Deputy Director Office), Collectorate Control Room (0477 2238630) and 1077 (Toll free)

2:30 pm

Japanese vessel rescues Kerala fishermen

A Japanese cargo vessel has turned the saviour for as many as 60 stranded fishermen of Kerala.

The vessel, with the fishermen aboard, is heading towards the Vizhinjam port and is expected to reach by evening, says Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner P Prakash.

2:00 pm

Navy, Coast Guard locate 69 fishermen

The Navy said it was continuing its search and rescue effort in coordination with the Coast Guard and the State government in the coastal area west of Kerala.

"Whilst exact numbers are being corroborated, presently, 69 people stranded in water have been located by three in aircraft [P8I, Dornier and Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv] and three naval ships in the area. Rescue of 20 personnel has been completed and efforts are under way to bring the rest to safety," a naval spokesperson said.

A rescued fisherman being given first aid in Vizhinjam.

A rescued fisherman being given first aid in Vizhinjam.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Continuous sorties of aircraft and helicopters were being undertaken in coordination with units at sea, he added.

Thiruvananthapuram District Collector K. Vasuki has said 95 fishermen have been rescued so far and about 185 are reported missing.

Family members of missing fishermen from Poonthura blocked the Highway near Thiruvallam, demanding action from government agencies.

1:50 pm

Families of stranded fishermen protest in Vizhinjam

A Coast Guard ship leaves the Vizhinjam harbour after the family of missing fishermen claimed inaction.

A Coast Guard ship leaves the Vizhinjam harbour after the family of missing fishermen claimed inaction.   | Photo Credit: S Gopakumar

The Coast Guard and the Navy have rescued seven fishermen off Adimalathura and Poonthura. They have been admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. One fisherman was brought dead. He is yet to be identified.

At Vizhinjam, fishermen and their families protested against the Coast Guard for alleged inaction. People said Coast Guard officials were reluctant to travel to the deep sea. Following protests, a Coast Guard vessel left the shore in search of missing fishermen.

As per an official list, 71 fishermen are missing from various areas on the Thiruvananthapuram coast. But residents claim that the number is above 100.

11:50 pm

Rain predicted at Lakshadweep area

The severe cyclonic storm lay centred over the southeast Arabian Sea, about 110 km north-northeast of Minicoy and 290 km south-east of Amini Divi, at 0530 hrs, the India Meteorology Department (IMD) said.

The system was very likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours. It was very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across the Lakshadweep Islands in the next 24 hours and then move north/northeastwards in the subsequent 48 hours.

The Met Department has predicted rains at the Lakshadweep area in the next 24 hours  and extremely high rainfall above 20 cm in isolated places. Kerala and coastal Karnataka are also expected to receive rain in this period.

11:30 am

Southern Tamil Nadu gets copious rain

Papanasam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu recorded 45.1 cm rain in the last 24 hours, according to the IMD. This is followed by Manimutharu (37.8 cm), and Kottaram in Kanniyakumari district (22 cm) . The data was recorded at 8 a.m. on December 1.

As per the latest updates, cyclone Ockhi lies about 130 km southwest of Thiruvananthapuram. it is likely to move towards the Lakshadweep area.

11:00 am

Search, rescue operations resume

Search and rescue operations resume, with the Navy deploying a Dornier and an ALH Dhruv with divers, reports PTI.

In a press release, the Indian Coast Guard said they have deployed 10 ships to for Search & Rescue (SAR) of missing fishermen in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A Dornier aircraft and helicopters were co-ordinating with assets at sea for the operations.

Thirteen of the fishermen reported missing in the sea returned by 10.30 p.m. on Thursday, according to the district administration. As per official figures, 106 fishermen and around 40 boats have been missing.

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10:45 am

Coastal areas of Ernakulam district put on high alert

The coastal areas of Ernakulam district remained on high alert after Cyclone Ockhi lashed the Kerala coast on Thursday.

The district administration has made all arrangements to meet any emergency. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea in view of thundershowers and heavy wind.

An official communication said that fishermen should stay away from sea for the next 48 hours as chances of the cyclone gathering strength over the Kerala coast were higher.

A control room will function at the office of the Deputy Director of Fisheries, Ernakulam, and the Fisheries Station at Vypeen for the next 48 hours. The contact numbers are: Vypeen 0484-2502768; 9496007037; Marine Enforcement-9446091185; Fisheries Deputy Director, Ernakulam Zone 0484-2394476; 9496007029; 9447510676.

10:30 am

In Thoothukudi

In Thoothukudi, where it had been raining since Wednesday, rainfall caused waterlogging alongside Palayamkottai Road, WGC Road and VE Road and some other low-lying areas.

Rainfall, accompanied by strong winds, caused damage to 11 huts, uprooted 27 trees and left 58 electricity poles tilted at several locations in the district, Collector N. Venkatesh told The Hindu. However, there was no casualty.

Read more
 

People cross flooded areas in the P &T colony in Thoothukudi on Friday as rain continues.

People cross flooded areas in the P &T colony in Thoothukudi on Friday as rain continues.   | Photo Credit: N. Rajesh

 

09:40 am

Lakshadweep, Kerala to receive heavy to very heavy rain

According to an India Meteorological Department bulletin issued at 08.30 a.m. on Friday, Cyclone Ockhi continues to move west-northwestwards with a speed of 17 kmph.

Cyclone Ockhi live updates: Lakshadweep braces for impact, 218 Kerala fishermen rescued

Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls are very likely over the Lakshadweep area in the next 24 hours. Heavy rainfall is expected at isolated places in Kerala in the next 24 hours as well.

"It has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and lay centred at 0530 hrs IST of today, the 01st December, 2017 over southeast Arabian Sea. The system is very likely to intensify further during next 24 hours. It is very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across Lakshadweep Islands during next 24 hours and then move north/northeastwards during the subsequent 48 hours," said the bulletin.

09:10 am

Holiday declared in parts of Sivaganga

Sivaganga District Collector G. Latha has declared a holiday for schools in five taluks in Sivaganga education district on Friday. In Devakottai education district, school heads were given permission to decide if they will work or not, as situation warrants,.

As Ramanathapuram district received only an average rainfall of 14.27 mm, no holiday has been declared.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has tweeted a list of precautions and actions to be followed before and after a cyclone.

 

08:30 am

Dam levels rise

Storage levels are up by six feet in the Periyar dam and one foot in the Vaigai dam due to heavy inflow. Contributed to by heavy rain, the inflow into the Periyar dam was registered as 16,022 cusecs and the Vaigai dam as 2,507 cusecs.

08:00 am

Holiday for schools in five districts

Continuous heavy rainfall and strong winds resulted in holiday being declared for schools in Tiruvannamalai, Madurai, Dindigul, Kancheepuram and Theni districts on Friday

School students return home after district administration declared school leave due to rain in Salem district on Friday morning.

School students return home after district administration declared school leave due to rain in Salem district on Friday morning.   | Photo Credit: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

 

Collector K.S. Kandasamy has declared a holiday for schools in Tiruvannamalai district due to heavy rain. In Dindigul too, Collector T.G Vinay has declared a holiday for schools in the district.

Collector N. Venkatachalam has declared a holiday for schools in Theni district while Madurai Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao has declared a holiday for schools and colleges in the district. Holiday has been declared for schools in Kancheepuram district as well.

Read more
 

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:57:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/live-updates-cyclone-ockhi-day-two-heavy-rain-continues-in-kerala-and-tamil-nadu/article21239131.ece

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