THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Cyclone Ockhi triggered heavy rain and gusty winds along the Kerala coast, taking to seven the overall death toll in rain-related calamities in the state over the last two days. While five deaths were reported from Thiruvananthapuram, one fatality each was reported from Kollam and Kasargod. Out of these, four deaths occurred on Friday in the capital.
While 56 houses were completely destroyed, 799 houses faced partial destruction. The government has opened a total of 29 relief camps across the state. These include 18 in Thiruvananthapuram, five in Kollam, three in Ernakulam, two in Alappuzha and one in Thrissur. As many as 2,755 people belonging to 491 families have been housed in temporary shelters.
Meanwhile, a 60-member team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) based in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu will reach Kerala for relief and rescue operations.
Thiruvananthapuram: As many as 218 fishermen from various parts of southern Kerala, who were reported missing in the sea since Thursday, have been rescued and brought back so far. The Navy announced it had traced 38 fishing boats in all, during the day-long search operations. The occupants have been provided rescue kits and food. Efforts are on to trace the remaining boats and retrieve them. The state government and its agencies are coordinating with the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard for the rescue mission.
Tracking the cyclone
‘Ockhi’, over Lakshadweep area, continued to move west-northwestwards. It intensified on Friday into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ and lay centred over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian sea, 90 km north of Minicoy and 220 km south-southeast of Amini Divi.
Forecast: The system is very likely to intensify further and move west-northwestwards across Lakshadweep islands on Saturday. By Sunday, it will move north-northwestwards.
Giant waves likely
Giant waves, over 6 m high, is likely over a 10-km area in the sea from the coast, a joint bulletin issued by the Met Department and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS) has said. The height of the waves will be in the 6.1 m to 4.4 m range in Kollam, Alappuzha, Kochi and Thrissur districts. Waves up to 3.3 m in height was likely near the coast from Vizhinjam to Kasargod till Saturday night.
Heavy rainfall warning
Heavy rainfall (7-11 cm in a span of 24 hours) to ‘very heavy rainfall’ (12-20 cm in 24 hours) is most likely to occur at a few places till Sunday morning, the Met Department has warned. Lakshadweep is likely to receive ‘extremely heavy rainfall’ (21 cm or more in 24 hours) at one or two places. Gale winds with speeds reaching 130 kmph are likely over and around Lakshadweep, which would gradually decrease after Saturday.