NAGERCOIL: Nothing could prove more useful than unity in times of distress. Though Cyclone Ockhi wreaked havoc in their lives, the fishermen of Thoothoor rose above the circumstances and went out in search of their missing friends. Their mission succeeded, though it ended on a sad note as they found five bodies floating in sea 57 to 120 nautical miles off Thengapattinam in Kanniy akumari district.
Though the fishermen failed to bring the bodies ashore, as they were decomposed, they recovered two ID cards of fishermen from Neerodi and eight cellphones packed in a bag. After Ockhi hit the coastal town, the mission of the fishermen from Thoothoor, who are experts in deep sea fishing, began on December 6 night.
They went to sea in five mechanised boats. After a long search off the coast from Kanniyakumari to Kollam in Kerala, they found five bodies floating in the sea. The group returned on Saturday afternoon.
Upon their return to Thengapattianam coast, Express met the fishermen and one P Valthus, the driver of mechanised boat Ossana.
He said five boats had ventured into the sea searching for the missing and stranded fishermen on December 6, after they got an information that as many as 40 fishermen were struggling in the sea. “All the boats went in different directions, searching for our people,” he said.
Valthus said, while returning, he and other crew members saw three bodies floating in the sea at 57 nautical miles from Thengapattinam coast around 9 pm on Friday night. “Though we tried to recover the body using ropes, we failed because the bodies were all decomposed,” he added.
Another fisherman S Jasin said he and other crew of Arputhamatha mechanised boat saw a body floating in the sea around 4.30 pm on Thursday. He also found eight cell phones and two identity cards packed in a bag floating near the body. “As we could not recover the body, we recovered the cellphones and identity cards,” he added.
‘690 men missing’
As many as 690 fishermen has gone missing from 8 villages in Thoothoor, including Neerodi, Marthandam Thurai, Vallavilai, Eraviputhe-nthurai, Chinnathurai, Poothurai, Erayumanthurai, claimed INFIDET president Justin Antony
Group surveys damage to power infrastructure in Kumari, Nagercoil
Chennai: The Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG) surveyed, photographed and mapped the damage caused by cyclone Ockhi to electrical infrastructure in Kanniyakumari and Nagercoil to alert authorities to fix them. The group used a citizen crisis mapping tool to earmark the places of damage.
“We surveyed a 250-km stretch between Kanniyakumari and Nagercoil for two days and used an app that any citizen can use to mark the locations where the damage took place,” Vishnu from CAG said, adding that his team had collected information on nature of damage, progress of repair and presence of electricity.
So far, the CAG has recorded over 50 locations where electrical infrastructure has been damaged and uploaded details through the app. Apart from collecting data, the team is also in touch with authorities.