Cyclone Ockhi UPDATES | Death toll rises to 77; Rahul Gandhi meets fishermen families in Kerala

Thousands of fishermen and their families in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are continuously holding mass protests, demanding for search operations to continue and for relief to be provided faster.

Published: 30th November 2017 04:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2017 11:56 PM   |  A+A-

Fishermen at Poonthura sit at the shore with the sunset in the backdrop in Thiruvananthapuram. (Manu R Mavelil | EPS)

By Online Desk
  • Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi today visited some places hit by the Cyclone Ochki in southern Kerala that has claimed 63 lives in the state, most of them fishermen, and pitched for a better warning system to prevent recurrence of such tragedies.

Thousands of fishermen and their families in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are continuously holding mass protests, demanding for search operations to continue and for relief to be provided faster.

Search and rescue operations to trace the fishermen missing in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi continued for the 12th day today. As many as 433 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 186 from Kerala are yet to be traced.

The cyclone, earlier this week, had finally dissipated over the Arabian Sea, sparing Gujarat from destruction.

ALSO READ | No tsunami says IMD as false WhatsApp alerts create panic

Here are all the latest updates:

  • House-to-house verification process is going on and a final figure of the missing fishermen would be known once the process was over, say officials. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • "The farmers have a ministry that looks after their interests and I think it is time that we create a ministry for the fishermen to look after their interests and make sure they are protected," said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after visiting fishermen families in affected areas in Kerala. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • TN government hikes compensation for non-fisherman families from Rs 4 lakhs to Rs 10 lakhs. (READ)

  • The death toll in the Ockhi cyclone that hit the Kerala coast mounted to 65 with more bodies being recovered. 

  • DMK petitions TN governor Banwarilal Purohit to expedite rescue work post-Ockhi.

  • Efforts are on to identify the recovered bodies through DNA test.

  • In a bid to set up a mechanism to ensure the safety of fishermen, Kerala CM Vijayan said a system was being planned in association with the Indian Space Research Organisation.

  • Kerala State control room officials said three bodies were found off the coast of Kozhikode and three from Kochi. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • The financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh for families of Kerala fishermen killed in the cyclone would be given in one go. An amount of Rs five lakh would be given to those who are seriously injured and are not able to go to work in future as an "alternative livelihood" initiative.

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said the Centre has agreed to continue search operations for the missing fishermen in Cyclone Ockhi that hit the state's coast on November 29 and 30.

  • The death toll due to Ockhi cyclone, which hit the Kerala coast, rose to 52 on Tuesday as more bodies were recovered and the search for the missing fishermen in the high seas continued.

  • The Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami on Tuesday announced Rs 20 lakh compensation for the kin of fishermen who died in the cyclone that devastated the coastal areas of the state recently. 

  • Pope Francis has enquired about the hardships and sufferings caused to Kerala's fishermen community in the Ockhi cyclone that ravaged the coastal belt on November 30.

  • The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday announced 'livelihood assistance' ranging from Rs 48,500 to Rs 63,500 per hectare for horticulture farmers of cyclone Ockhi-battered Kanyakumari district.

  • Kerala fishermen protestors took to the street by waving black flags and photos of the dead and missing fishermen walked about two km from Palayam to Raj Bhavan raising slogans, bringing the traffic to a standstill on the busy stretch.

  • The death toll in the Ockhi cyclone in Kerala rose to 40 on Monday with the recovery of two more bodies even as the search operations to trace the missing fishermen entered the 10th day.

  • Search and rescue operations to trace the fishermen missing in the aftermath of Ockhi cyclone continued for 10th day today even as 67 persons caught in the storm, returned to Kochi coast. 

  • The Goa government would provide compensation to shacks having legal validity, for the damages suffered during the Cyclone Ockhi last week. [FULL REPORT]

  • The Indian naval ships engaged in search and rescue mission in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi today continued their operations in the high seas, searching area till the Maldives. No stranded boats, fishermen or floating bodies have been found in the sea by the naval search team during the last 72 hours, the official said.

  • Kerala Governor P Sathasivam will contribute a month's salary to the special fund being raised for the victims of cyclone Ockhi.

  • The Kerala government has asked the Indian Armed Forces and the Coast Guard to continue search operations for fishermen missing in high seas post-Cyclone Ockhi for 10 more days.

  • A decision in this regard was taken at an all-party meeting in Kerala on Friday to discuss the steps taken by the state for rescue of fishermen stranded at sea and situation in the aftermath of the cyclone that hit the coast on November 29 and 30.

  • READ | Cyclone Ockhi: 200 people from Kerala's fisher community to be recruited to coastal police

  • Sixty-six boats from this district were yet to be traced, while 713 fishermen were still to be rescued, in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi, a top district official said.

  • Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Friday said all steps were being taken to trace and rescue missing fishermen in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi. A "false image" is being created against the central and state governments though they were taking up rescue, relief and rehabilitation works, Radhakrishnan told reporters in Kanyakumari.

  • READ FULL STORY HERE | Tension at Adimalathura as Finance Minister meets protesting fishermen

  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday announced a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of fishermen who died in Cyclone Ockhi. Palaniswami also announced setting up of a high-level committee to go into the matter of missing fishermen and submit a report. He also announced Rs five lakh solatium to those fishermen who were affected by the cyclone and unable to pursue their profession.

  • ALSO READ | Fishermen meet CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, seek intensive search operations

  • The Tamil Nadu government said on Thursday (08-12-2017) that nearly 2,000 fishermen who had ventured into deep sea before Cyclone Ockhi crossed the coast of Kanyakumari were rescued and safely accommodated in coastal districts of various states. Principal Secretary (Information Technology) T K Ramachandran said that 1,969 fishermen on 284 boats ventured into the sea just a day before Cyclone Ockhi crossed the coast last week.

  • READ | After Cyclone Ockhi, now it’s a sea of protest for 2000 fishermen families in Nagercoil

  • Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit today assured the families of missing fishermen in the district that steps would be taken to trace all those missing after cyclone 'Ockhi' hit the state coast.

  • Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said prime minister Narendra Modi had called the Tamil Nadu chief minister and enquired about the situation, but did not call the Kerala CM.

  • Three bodies were recovered today off the Kerala coast, taking the death toll due to Cyclone Ockhi to 36, even as defence sources said search and rescue operations will be extended to International waters around Maldives.

  • Family members of 19 fishermen from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, reported missing in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi, today met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and sought help to trace them.

  • "It was an unprecedented calamity, which claimed several lives and caused a widespread damage to properties. The Centre should declare Cyclone Ockhi a national disaster and announce a special package for the rehabilitation of the victims," Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

  • Tamil Nadu government today said a total of 4,501 houses in cyclone Ockhi-hit Kanyakumari have suffered partial and full damage and relief to the tune of Rs 41 lakh has been provided in this regard so far. [READ REPORT]

    Nuns take out a candlelight procession for the victims of Cyclone Ockhi at the National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom at Vallarpadam in Kochi on Wednesday night. (Albin Mathew | EPS) 
  • The Kerala state cabinet on Wednesday cleared a comprehensive rehabilitation package for the victims of Cyclone Ockhi, which includes Rs 20 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased fishermen and Rs 5 lakh each for fishermen who were grievously injured. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • Boeing P8i of Indian Navy detected a fishing vessel near Kavaratti, close to  Mangalore, yesterday evening. While INS Chennai has diverted for rescue, search areas are being expanded due to drift and currents in the area, said Navy spokesperson.

  • The government on Tuesday issued an advisory in view of Cyclone 'Ockhi', warning of a "rapid" rise in the water level of rivers in parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

  • Union Health Minister J P Nadda today spoke to health ministers of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, assuring them of all help from the Centre for dealing with the possible damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi.

  • A Coast Guard ship today located 15 boats off Lakshadweep and provided assistance to 184 fishermen on board, as part of its Cyclone Ockhi relief operations.

  • Local fishermen will join Naval teams with INS Kabra, presently involved in search and rescue operations off Kollam port and their inputs will be taken to carry out the mission.

  • The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide adequate basic amenities to those affected by cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district.

  • The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday said that Cyclone Ockhi was not expected to have high impact in Gujarat which is geared for the worst situation.

  • As many as 39 people have perished and 167 fishermen were still missing after cyclone Ockhi hit Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts while 809 others were swept away to Maharashtra, the Union Home Ministry said today.

  • Narendra Modi today said he is constantly monitoring the situation in various states arising out of cyclone Ockhi battering parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep islands and now heading towards Gujarat.  [READ FULL ARTICLE HERE]

  • Light rains were expected at one or two places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry over the next two days.

  • Rahul Gandhi's rallies in Gujarat's Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar cancelled due to bad weather, reports ANI. 

  • The Kerala government today said intensified search and rescue operations are on to trace the 92 fishermen missing in high seas after Cyclone Ockhi hit the state's coast on November 29.

  • The National Disaster Management Authority today asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out in the sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to Cyclone Ockhi.

  • The North Goa district has done a preliminary assessment of the damage caused due to Cyclone Ockhi in the coastal state.

  • Cyclone Ockhi today moved closer to the southern coast near Surat in Gujarat and is expected to make a landfall in the state around midnight, said officials.

  • PM Modi and Amit Shah have directed party workers to stop campaigning and instead help people in coastal regions of Gujarat move to safer places. Amit Shah’s cancelled rallies were to be held in Rajula, Mahua and Shihor. (TV reports)

  • It's likely to rain today, there will be strong winds. People have been advised not to go out at night. Those living in kachha houses will be given shelter. NDRF is on alert. Municipality & local bodies are working on their level.: Mahendra Patel, Surat DM #CycloneOckhi pic.twitter.com/lUuIpOiauW — ANI (@ANI) December 5, 2017

  • Kerala fishermen demand stringent action against erring disaster management officers. [READ FULL STORY HERE]

  • In Mumbai, the Western Railways has deployed extra personnel for crowd management in case of any emergency due to the cyclone. [FULL REPORT]

  • According to the IMD, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an urgent meeting with senior officials to take stock of the preparedness in the state ahead of the expected landfall of the cyclone today.

  • Some parts of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway experienced a hailstorm early today, police said. 

  • The traffic on Eastern and Western Express Highways in Mumbai has slowed down. There are traffic curbs in some places in view of the rush of followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on his death anniversary tomorrow.

  • All exams for Mumbai University taking place as scheduled, announced the administration. (TV reports)

  • Mumbai police have been putting up barricades near Dadar chowpatty and Juhu chowpatty to stop people from going near the beaches, say TV reports.

  • Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in Mumbai and coastal Gujarat on Tuesday midnight with squally winds, which may cause heavy rains in several parts of the state during the next two days.

  • The Maharashtra government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges in Mumbai and adjoining districts. An official at the Mumbai office of India Meteorological Department said on account of the cyclone, the megapolis has started receiving rainfall due to spread of clouds.

  • The Tamil Nadu government on Monday said a total of 2,604 fishermen out of the 2,864 caught in the cyclone Ockhi have been rescued.

    Women with all hopes of the return of their dear ones at the St Mary's
    church at Vizhinjam (EPS | Kaviyoor Santhosh)
  • Several dozen shacks have reportedly been affected by Sunday night's swelling of waters along the coastline.

  • The Central government has assured all help to cyclone-battered Lakshadweep, where there was no loss of lives, but extensive property damage in some islands: Lakshadweep Administrator Farooq Khan.

    Shibi, whose husband went missing Cyclone Ockhi, in all tears inside
    the St Mary's church at Vizhinjam. ( EPS | Kaviyoor Santhosh)
  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Monday rescued another 19 fishermen from the Arabian Sea, top officials said.

  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today donated Rs two crore from the CM's relief fund to the PMNRF to provide relief to the victims of Cyclone Ockhi.

  • A well-marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal is likely to become a depression and move towards Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh by December 6, the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) said today.

  • The National Crisis Management Committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, has reviewed rescue and relief operations being carried out in high seas and coastal areas hit by cyclone Ockhi.

  • Women members of the fisher folk community on Monday held a protest in Kanyakumari district demanding that authorities intensify rescue operations to trace fishermen caught in the deep sea in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi. Hundreds of women held protest on the roads in Neerodi village demanding the authorities trace their loved ones who are still missing. [READ FULL STORY]

  • In a thatched house on Poonthura beach in Kerala, 21-year-old Bobby, his 42-year-old mother Jacintha and his 17-year-old sister Nimmy are hopeless about the future. Their sole breadwinner Christy, 51, a fisherman, died in the Ockhi cyclone in high seas when he ventured out into the sea last Wednesday. [READ THE FULL STORY HERE]

  • Four days after ‘Ockhi’ hit Chellanam in Kerala, Annamma Pouly, 67, is yet to recover from the troubles she went through to shift her 74-year-old immobile husband from their house as sea water gushed in during the middle of the night. [READ HER ACCOUNT HERE]

  • Cyclone Ockhi and the frantic scramble for organising rescue efforts down south have yet again underscored the need for permanently stationing Naval and Coast Guard ships in Thiruvananthapuram. [READ FULL REPORT HERE]

  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday sent two crore rupees from the Chief Minister Fund to the Prime Minister Fund for the relief of victims. (ANI)

  • Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met with the families of fishermen affected by the cyclone at Vizhinam in Thiruvananthapuram. She pointed out that the boats that had gone out well before the cyclone warning was issued had been found 15 days after their departure with the fishermen alive. ''If boats which went 15 days ago can come back with fishermen alive, we will make every attempt to get everybody back,'' she said. (Express News Service) [READ FULL REPORT HERE]

  • Previously, Cyclone Ockhi had moved north-northwestwards during the past six hours and lay centered over southeast and east-central Arabian Sea , about 390 km west-northwest of Amini Divi island of Lakshadweep.

  • Lakshadweep islands, which was hit by Cyclone Ochki, has suffered a loss of over Rs 500 crore, Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizal said today.

  • Nirmala Sitharaman taking stock of Cyclone Ochki affected Kanyakumari and interacting with the locals.

  • Very severe Cyclone Ockhi to recurve towards Gujarat, weaken gradually: Skymet Weather

  • Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said 28 more boats, carrying 321 fishermen, which were caught in rough seas due to Cyclone Ockhi, have safely reached Maharashtra's Ratnagiri coast today. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • A total of 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in sea due to Cyclone Ockhi , were rescued this morning, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

  • What looked like an aftermath of cyclone Ockhi, three houses were damaged while the compound wall of a private resort collapsed as surging waves lashed the coast of Ullal in Dakshina Kannada in the last two days. According to official sources, damage to the property by huge waves has occurred in most of the coastal areas.

  • KJ Alphons on Sunday also said that Cyclone Ockhi will not be termed a national disaster. [READ HERE]

  • Even as the blame game over the lack of warning before cyclone Ockhi continues, Union Minister of State for Tourism and IT Alphons Kannanthanam said that the state had not received any warning until November 30. However, he later clarified that a warning had been issued on November 28 and 29 about a deep depression in the sea. [READ FULL REPORT HERE]

  • Four men — three from Thiruvananthapuram and one from Tamil Nadu — were rescued by the IAF and admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. They were identified as Zacharias (55), Seva Kurishu (35), and Kristudas (48) of Adimalathura, Thiruvananthapuram; and Anthony Adima (30) of Kollencode, Tamil Nadu. Another fisherman was brought dead to the hospital.

  • A Coastguard vessel carrying 19 rescued fishermen was expected to arrive in Kochi.

  • Moderate rain is expected at a few places in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry during the next 24 hours, according to IMD. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • Indian Coast Guard ship Sarthi rescued a fisherman in rough seas during Cyclone Ockhi off Kerala coast. [WATCH VIDEO]

  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will visit Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari today. She will arrive at the technical area of the IAF at Shangumugham by 3 pm and leave for Kanyakumari.

  • Fishermen community in Thiruvananthapuram have decided to launch their own rescue operations on Sunday as 55 boats ventured into the sea to search for the missing fishermen. (IANS)

  • TN SDMA has also warned that strong winds from North-easterly direction with speeds reaching 40-55 Kmph is likely along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast.

  • The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TN SDMA) has issued a 24-hour warning to fishermen not to go for fishing to the Arabian sea. 

  • 68 fishing boats, out of which 66 are from Kerala and two from Tamil Nadu, have reached Maharashtra's Sindhudurg coast with total 952 fishermen on board. All are safe: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. (READ FULL REPORT HERE)

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has decided to ask the Centre to declare the Ockhi cyclone as a ‘national calamity’. (ANI)

  • Claims of thousand fishermen stranded are false. Correct figures- 97 are yet to be rescued, 71 from Tamil Nadu have been rescued till now. The Coast Guard is at it, with all its strength to rescue the rest. Hoping for good news soon: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (ANI)

People receive essential commodities at a relief camp following cyclone Ockhi in the Kanyakumari district on Saturday. (PTI)
  • Given orders to Maharashtra Maritime Board and Collector, Sindhudurg Dist. to make all arrangements for the stranded fishermen. Local authorities are already with them and taking care of all arrangements, tweets Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.

  • A fresh spell of heavy rain is in store in some areas of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry with a low pressure area forming over south Andaman sea, which is "very likely" to become a depression over Bay of Bengal. It is very likely to become a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood during the next 36 hours. It is also very likely to intensify further and move towards north Tamil Nadu south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 3-4 days. (IMD)

  • Though many fishermen from Kerala were brought ashore safely and admitted to hospitals, many are yet to recover from the shock of wrestling the lashing waves and seeing death face-to-face. Stephan, a fisherman hailing from nearby Poonthura, said: "It was the first time we were experiencing such huge waves and a rough sea. Luckily, the rescue boat came back and saved us." Most of the rescued fishermen had bruises all over their bodies and were seen shivering and begging for hot water and food when brought ashore. (PTI)

Stranded fisherman being brought to Kerala coast by Indain Navy personnel in Kochi on Saturday. (PTI)
  • Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami today requested the Centre to deploy the Indian Navy and Coast Guard for the search and rescue of fishermen who have not returned so far, and that helicopters of Coast Guard and Navy should be deployed for this purpose. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured the AIADMK leader that the Centre would provide the assistance required to rescue the fishermen. (PTI)

  • Several roads that connect Kanyakumari with many interior parts have got cut or were fully damaged due to heavy rainfall following the impact of cyclone Ockhi in the district on Saturday. (PTI)
  • A Coast Guard advisory here said the status of weather and sea conditions should be checked on television, radio, newspapers and smartphone applications before venturing out into the sea. The merchant ships should also be alert and avoid the path of Cyclone Ockhi, it said. Fishing boats should remain in groups and during distress all the crew should remain together, it said.

  • DMK working president M K Stalin urged Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in his letter to direct the Coast Guard to search and rescue "thousands of fishermen fighting for their lives in the mid sea, so as to prevent further loss of lives due to the Ockhi cyclone". 

  • Steps have been taken to prevent any possible outbreak of epidemic in rain-hit areas of
    Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu Health minister C Vijayabhaskar said today. 

A relief worker places sand bags on the banks of a beach in Kochi in wake of cyclone Ockhi on Saturday. (PTI)
  • Leader of the opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare cyclone Ockhi as a national disaster. He also urged the Kerala government to increase the financial aid for the injured at least up to Rs 50,000 from the present Rs 15,000. Lack of coordination had affected the government's relief and rescue operations, launched post Ockhi, he alleged. (PTI)

  • The Southern Railway announced partial and full cancellation of some trains in the Kaniyakumari-Nagercoil section. One train service was also rescheduled. (PTI

  • Meanwhile, relatives of missing fishermen from Kaniyakumari staged a road blockade demanding the fishermen be rescued at the earliest. Scores of women also staged protest at Chinnathurai in that district.

There has been a huge demand for generator sets following the devastation caused by cyclone Ockhi in the Kanyakumari region on Saturday. (PTI)
  • In Kanyakumari, power supply had been restored even as efforts are on to resume power supply in neighbouring areas like Nagercoil and Kuzhithurai. Officials expressed confidence that the power supply would be restored in the entire district by tomorrow.

  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced Rs 25 crore for expediting relief and restoration work in the district. (PTI)

  • 261 persons rescued by @IndiaCoastGuard @adgpi and @IAF_MCC in #CycloneOckhi @NewIndianXpress pic.twitter.com/ywhzBQLJnP

  • The Coast Guard informed in a press release that on November 30, the Coast Guard District Headquarters in Kerala was informed that around 70-80 fishermen were stranded at sea due to the storm. The Coast Guard immediately sailed as many as nine ships towards Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts. Further, ships based at New Mangalore were also sailed towards Kerala coast to undertake the rescue of stranded fishermen. “As the cyclone intensified, coordinated search by Coast Guard ships and aircraft continued in extremely rough weather with wind speed gusting up to 150 kmph. Ships at Mumbai and Goa were also placed on maximum alert to augment efforts as required,” the press release read. (PTI)

  • As per the last report, a total of 79 stranded fishermen have been saved by the Coast Guard in coordination with other agencies. Also, the fisheries department has intimated that about 25 boats with 250 personnel are still in distress at sea.

A man watches a road that has been cut off due to floods following the heavy rainfall caused by the cyclone Ockhi which left heavy damage in the Kanyakumari district on Saturday. (PTI)
  • 138 fishermen have been rescued from the Lakshadweep islands. (PTI)

  • So far 393 people from Kerala have been rescued, Kerala CM Vijayan said, as the state government announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of those who died in the storm, in addition to the financial assistance of Rs four lakh being given by the fisheries department.Of the rescued, 132 fishermen were from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, 66 from Kozhikode, 55 from Kollam, 40 from Thrissur, and 100 from Kanyakumari. (PTI)

  • In Lakshadweep, 31 relief camps have been opened in the10 inhabited islands. So far, 1,047 people have been evacuated to the relief camps, official sources said. No casualties have been reported, with the worst-affected islands being Minicoy and Kalpeni. Seven people have lost their lives in Kerala in rain-related incidents over the past two days, official sources said. (PTI)

  • Cyclone Ockhi has so far claimed 13 lives in Sri Lanka. Power supply, essential services and air traffic was disrupted in the stormy weather that left several buildings damaged and trees uprooted in its wake. READ FULL REPORT HERE

  • #CycloneOckhi update @IndiaCoastGuard ship rescued 15 fishermen at sea off Vizhinjam/Quilon (Kerala) Coast and heading towards shore for safe disembarkation of fisher-folks @DefenceMinIndia @SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/39gJrfI20Z

  • Authorities including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Coast Guard and Navy have rescued about 223 fishermen and evacuated thousands of people from cyclone hit areas, officials said, as they continued their operations on Saturday.

  • While INS Nireekshak, INS Jamuna and INS Sagardhwani are continuing search and rescue operations in their designated areas along the coast off Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, two ships INS Shardul and INS Sharda are heading towards Lakshadweep, a defence spokesman said. (PTI) The naval ships, which left from the Southern Naval Command here yesterday, are likely to reach Lakshadweep this evening.

  • The Kerala state government has announced a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the families of the deceased.

  • #Kerala Locals have blocked National Highway for last five hours in Trivandrum's Thumba, demand better relief measures & rescue of 6 fishermen missing from the area #CycloneOckhi pic.twitter.com/rcTY0gyDty

  • Six boats and 73 fishermen that went missing in the sea have been brought back, the Fisheries Minister of Tamil Nadu, D Jayakumar, informed on Saturday. (ANI)

  • Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan slammed rumour mongers on Saturday after it came to light that Friday's reports of a Japanese merchant ship rescuing 60 Kerala fishermen caught in the deep seas, was "fake". It was Thiruvananthapuram district Collector S.Vasuki who told the media, on Friday evening, that she wished to thank the Japanese government as one of their ships had rescued 60 fishermen and said they would arrive at the Vizhinjam coast. (IANS.) [READ FULL REPORT]

  • Locals in Thiruvananthapuram's Poonthura came out in protest alleging rescue operations have been inadequate. (ANI)

  • According to Thiruvananthapuram district Collector S Vasuki, 102 fishermen from the city who had gone into the sea have not been able to contact their relatives. [READ FULL REPORT HERE]

  • Several houses suffered damage, trees got uprooted and communication lines were disrupted as rains accompanied by strong winds lashed the Lakshadweep Islands under the influence of Cyclone Ockhi. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • INS Nireekshak rescued two fishermen off Alappuzha coast. INS Sagardhwani fished out one cadaver, 30 km off Thiruvananthapuram coast. The ship had earlier found another cadaver. (PTI)

  • PM Modi dialled Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami and enquired about the damage caused by the cyclone, which also battered parts of Kerala. [READ FULL REPORT HERE]

  • The Tamil Nadu government has said it will soon seek central funds for the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi in the southern parts of the state, with Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts being the worst hit.

  • As many as 218 fishermen from various parts of southern Kerala who were missing at sea since Thursday have been rescued and brought back so far, even as Cyclone Ockhi continued its menacing north-westward path along the Arabian Sea. [READ REPORT HERE]

A rescued fisherman rushed to the ambulance from the technical area of the Thiruvananthpuram airport on Friday afternoon. Express Photo | Kaviyoor Santhosh
  • According to a CWC advisory, the west-flowing rivers in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam in Kerala are likely to rise over the next 24 hours and then, slowly fall as the rains reduced.

  • Three deaths were reported in Kerala and one in the worst-hit Kannyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, taking the toll to 12, reports UNI.

  • A report from Lakshadweep said a red alert had been sounded as high waves posed a major threat to most of the islands in the region. (UNI)

  • WATCH: Navy rescue fishermen off Thiruvananthapuram coast 

  • About 150 fishermen, who put out to sea from various southern districts, were rescued, Thiruvananthapuram District Commissioner K Vasuki said, adding that efforts were on to bring the rest of the stranded fishermen to the shore. The rescued fishermen included those who were saved by a Japanese cargo vessel.

  • Heavy to extremely heavy rains are likely over Lakshadweep Islands, while light to moderate rains with a few heavy spells are expected over Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, according to Skymetweather's latest weather update.

  • Search and rescue effort progressing off Vizhinjam where approximately 40 people were stranded at sea. Indian Navy ships Sharda and Shardul sailed out to augment search effort, in final stages of embarking humanitarian assistance and disaster relief items for assistance at Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands , reports ANI. 

  • 130 families from Chellanam, 17 families from Kumbalangi and 18 families from Edavanakad rehabilitated from the coastal areas, reports ANI. [Read Report]

READ FULL STORY: Navy, Coast Guard save 39 Kerala fishermen

ALSO READ | Cyclone Ockhi tales

- One person was killed when a tree fell on his autorickshaw at Kulathupuzha in Kollam
- A couple at Kattakkada in Thiruvananthapuram was electrocuted when power cables fell over them
- Trees and hoardings collapsed in the strong wind, which also blew away thatched roofs and roofing sheets of houses
- The State Disaster Management Authority has issued alert to Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kottayam districts

Satellite image of Cyclone Ockhi across South India. (Image Courtesy: skymetweather.com)

  • Five people dead, 22 fishermen missing, 62 houses fully damaged, 240 houses partly damaged due to heavy rains, in Kanyakumari district. 16 rehabilitation centres established by government in which 1044 people are being given shelter. (ANI)
  • Ockhi can lead to cloudy weather coupled with light rain for some parts along Maharashtra coast and Mumbai next week, reports said. The IMD has issued warning to all ports. Skymet predicted that there will be light rains in Saurashtra and Kutch region of Gujarat as well. 

  • Thiruvananthapuram saw a respite from incessant rains Friday morning. Several trains to and from Thiruvananthapuram were either delayed, cancelled or re-scheduled, say TV reports.

  • Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami announces Rs 5 lakh compensation to kin of the five deceased in Kanyakumari district due to rain-related incidents.

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there were serious lapses from the side of state disaster management department. The alert from Hyderabad was not sent to the Government on time, reports ANI. [READ FULL REPORT]

  • Indian Navy’s Advanced Light Helicopter has dropped a life a liferaft for 8 survivors at sea 20nm off Trivandrum and is picking up two critically injured survivors from MV Energy Orpheus. Naval Seaking helicopter being launched shortly to recover 8 survivors & additional SAR.

  • Boeing P8I Aircraft deployed at first light from INS Rajali this morning sights 7 survivors hanging on to a capsized boat ~25 miles West of Tivandrum. A/c drops life raft in the vicinity and reported the exact position. Ships in area are being diverted to render assistance: Indian Navy

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to the DG of NDRF and reviewed the situation in areas affected by Cyclone Ockhi. NDRF teams have already been moved to the affected areas. More teams are on standby to respond to any further emergencies. The Home Affairs ministry is closely monitoring the situation, according to a the HMO, reports ANI.

  • A cyclone alert has been issued across the coastal regions in north Kerala as MET has predicted cyclone Ockhi will reach this part of the state also.

  • Nearly 200 fishing boats, which left Kochi coast in the last couple of days, are yet to return. Joseph Xavier, general secretary, All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association, said, “Usually, we used to receive advance warnings on the weather. But this time, there was no such notification." This is a matter of concern, given there were reports about the arrival of the cyclone at least two days ago,” he said. Since most of the boats are co-owned by people belonging to Tamil Nadu and most of the workers are also from that state, it is also possible that the fishermen might have taken the boats to Colachel, Muttom and Thengapattanam, said Xavier.

  • Kerala: Fishermen in Trivandrum go missing. Relatives say they received no warnings of Cyclone Ockhi from the government. [READ FULL REPORT HERE]

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held an emergency meeting of top officials to take stock of the situation and has asked police and revenue officials to be on high alert, reports IANS.

  • Balakrishnan Nair, scientist at INCOIS, said that the storm surge of about one metre above astronomical tides are very likely to inundate low-lying areas of Lakshadweep Islands from Thursday night and 0.5 metre surge will inundate low-lying areas of coastal districts of south Kerala (Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts), and adjoining districts of south Tamil Nadu (Kanniyakumari, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts).

  • Four people were killed in Kerala on Thursday as heavy rains and strong winds lashed southern part of the state after cyclonic storm Ockhi hit the Kerala coast. (READ MORE)

  • Four people died today in Kanyakumari as heavy rains and strong winds uprooted trees, snapped power lines and damaged settlements close to the sea in Kanyakumari-Nagercoil-Thoothukudi region in south Tamil Nadu. Schools in seven districts of the state including Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Virudhunagar were closed today. [READ MORE]

  • Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams with 60 personnel have been sent to Kanyakumari. Another team of 47 will be on standby in Kochi in Kerala to help out in Lakshadweep if the need arises. [READ: TN CM Palaniswami: Taking precautionary steps for Cyclone Ockhi]

  • Heavy rains have caused chaos and destruction in districts of Kerala since Wednesday. Thiruvananthapuram woke up this morning to a sustained heavy drizzle and heavily overcast skies, which hit rush hour traffic in the state's capital city.

  • One death has been reported in the state so far. An autorickshaw driver on the outskirts of Kollam was killed today after a tree fell on his vehicle. [READ FULL REPORT HERE]

  • Severe rainstorm &winds in Thiruvananthapuram. Here I'm struggling with my umbrella at Shankumukham Beach where #Padayorukkam is scheduled to conclude tomorrow w/ mass rally by Rahul Gandhi pic.twitter.com/qxXvugMqHV

  • Cyclone Ockhi is not expected to make a landfall in Tamil Nadu. ALSO READ | High wave warning sounded for south Tamil Nadu

  • For north coastal Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, the skies would be generally cloudy and light to moderate spells of rain can be expected. Chennai received up to 6 cm of rain between 8:30 last night and 8:30 this morning.

  • As far as fishermen are concerned, those in Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Rameswaram, have been asked not to venture out into sea till December 1, Thursday as the wind speed will be 65-70 kmph, meaning the sea will be rough along and off south Tamil Nadu, south Kerala coasts and Lakshadweep Islands.

  • #cyclonealert: Check out the progress of the #CycloneOckhi #Cyclone #Ockhi #Weather #cyclone1 #Chennai #Chennairains #Kerala #TamilNadu @tnsdma @kerala_kaumudi @archvivekh @karthickselvaa pic.twitter.com/A0RNw8wJ90

  • The weather office has also predicted dense fog in places in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura.

  • Cyclone 'Ockhi' (meaning: eye) was a name contributed by Bangladesh.

With a speed of 38 kmph at 8:30 Thursday morning, the cyclone lay centred about 340 km west-northwest of Galle in Sri Lanka, 60 Km south of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and 120 km southwest of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and 480 km east­southeast of Minicoy in Lakshadweep. It has moved west-northwestwards towards Lakshadweep Islands in the southeast Arabian Sea. Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 12 atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks lying 200 to 400 km to the West of the South-West coast (Kerala) of India. 

Cyclone Ockhi is approaching the Lakshadweep archipelago, a top official at the Ministry of Earth Sciences said in Delhi today. Madhavan Rajeevan, secretary in the ministry, said the archipelago in the southern part of the Arabian Sea will start experiencing heavy rainfall and strong winds from tomorrow. "It will hit the islands on December 2," Rajeevan said. (PTI)

Earlier today, the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) had put out an alert saying that the system could intensify further to become a severe cyclonic storm. It further said the storm could re-curve towards the Mumbai-Gujarat region on the West Coast, after being influenced by an incoming western disturbance from the opposite direction.

Heavy rainfall and storms in Tamil Nadu in the first week of November this year killed at least 12 people and thousands took shelter in relief camps, triggering fears of the 2015 floods repeat. It had killed more than 400 people, displaced lakhs and damaged property worth thousands of crores.

  • What is a tropical depression

    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) classifies the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and in the Arabian Sea into seven categories. Low pressure areas with maximum sustained surface wind speeds between 31 and 61 kmph are called tropical depressions. Once the winds around the low pressure area reach at least 62 kmph, it is called a tropical cyclone and is assigned a name. The current system is intensifying rapidly. As per the IMD wind warning, squally winds would reach 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph along and off south Tamil Nadu during the next 48 hours.

    Another depression kicking-in

    The trough of low pressure over the Malay Peninsula and neighbourhood is persisting and is likely to develop into a low-pressure area over Malay Peninsula and adjoining south Andaman Sea during the next 24 hours. This system is likely to trigger a wet spell for the north coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, around December 4.

    (With inputs from Express News Service and agencies)

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