Cyclone Ockhi hits Tamil Nadu, Kerala

Cyclone Ockhi

Four people were killed on Thursday as heavy rains and strong winds lashed southern part of the state after cyclonic storm Ockhi hit the Kerala coast, officials said. The ships and aircraft would carry out search and rescue operations in the area and would continue to remain at sea for any assistance required by the civil administration till the cyclone crossed the coast.

At least five Navy ships have been deployed from Kochi, two ships on standby in Lakshadweep, and two ICG ships each deployed from Kochi and Tuticorin, for search and rescue operation.

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted; "Some 450 Kerala fishermen on 80 boats missing at sea since last night". The Southern Naval Command was also gearing up for any humanitarian assistance and disaster relief that may be required in view of the cyclone in the southern parts of Kerala.

Weathermen have named the storm Ockhi and forecast a lashing for southern and central Kerala as the low pressure system makes for Lakshadweep. Personnel from the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force from Arakkonam were rushed to Kanyakumari and other districts.

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The Railways issued the notice cancelling the trains following the high alert issued by the India Meteorological Department.

The Chennai collector has declared a holiday for schools across the city in view of the heavy rainfall warning from the MeT department. Restrictions are also in place on tourist movement in hilly and coastal regions.

Squally winds with speed reaching 55 to 65 kmph, and gusting to 75 kmph, are also very likely along and around Lakshadweep Islands.

The report said gale wind with speeds reaching 65-75 kmph and gusting to 85 kmph are likely along and off south Kerala over the next 48 hours and off south Tamil Nadu.

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