Blackout in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu as fly-by cyclone ‘Ockhi’ leaves it battered
Tropical cyclonic storm ‘Ockhi’ pounded the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and came precariously close to Kanniyakumari coast on Thursday morning before veering away towards Lakshadweep Islands.
CHENNAI/KANNIYAKUMARI: Tropical cyclonic storm ‘Ockhi’ pounded the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and came precariously close to Kanniyakumari coast on Thursday morning before veering away towards Lakshadweep Islands. It is likely to gather more steam and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds reaching 80-90 kmph and even gusting to 100 kmph.
For Tamil Nadu it was touch and go as some of the weather stations in Tirunelveli, Kanniyakumari and Thoothukudi reportedly recorded over 250 mm of rain and will continue to receive heavy rainfall for the next 24 hours.
In Kanniyakumari district, at least four persons were reported dead in rain-related incidents. Also 10 fishermen on country boats and those who went for deep sea fishing have been reported missing. Strong winds flattened over 500 trees and many lamp posts. There was no power supply in parts of Kanniyakumari and Thoothukudi districts since morning.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami deputed senior IAS officers and ministers to oversee the relief and rescue operations. Two teams of personnel each from National Disaster Rescue Force and Tamil Nadu State Disaster Rescue Force have also joined the relief operations.
Wednesday’s depression escalated into a deep depression early morning and further intensified into a cyclonic storm at 8.30 am, well ahead of the Meteorological Department’s forecast.
At 6 pm, satellite images and weather models indicated that Ockhi was over Comorin area, and moved west-northwestwards at a speed of 20 kmph and lay centred over south Kerala, about 120 km west-southwest of Kanniyakumari.
S Balachandran, director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said the fast moving system was likely to move further west-northwestwards towards Lakshadweep Islands and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm by Friday.