ICG issues warning as cyclone Ockhi heads for Maharashtra, Gujarat

Image for representation only

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam and Kerala Co-operation and Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran before leaving for Kanyakumari, at Shangumugham Sunday.

This means Ockhi will retain its near-cyclone strength as it hits Surat in South Gujarat where it is expected to make a landfall by Tuesday midnight.

The National Crisis Management Committee took stock of preparedness activities in Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is likely to move North-North Eastward and weaken gradually.

"An update on the search and rescue efforts being done by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force to save the lives of fishermen affected by #CycloneOckhi: 357 fishermen have been saved as of 10 am today", she wrote on her official Twitter handle.

Meanwhile, The Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force are engaged in rescue operations with their ships, aircraft and helicopters. The Navy and the Air Force also deployed vessels.

The Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have taken necessary steps to deal with any eventualities occurring in their respective States.

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The cabinet secretary held a video conference with the chief secretaries and the senior officers of the affected states and Union Territories to review the situation.

Mr Kannanthanam, after the high level meeting also said that the Ockhi cyclone could not be declared a national disaster.

A total of 243 fishermen in Tamil Nadu, 250 in Kerala and 1047 persons in Lakshadweep have been rescued so far. "Search and rescue operations would continue". Speaking to ANI, S Balachandran of the MET department said moderate rain is expected at some places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Xaviour Luis (57), a native of Poonthura in Thiruvananthpuram, died after his boat collapsed and another fisherman rescued by the Coast Guard later succumbed to injuries in the hospital.

The number of missing on Monday came down to 92. "So I would not lose hope even for a minute, " she said. "Please listen to me peacefully..."

Coming to South India, the well-marked low pressure area over Southeast Bay of Bengal will intensify into a depression and move in the northwest direction. Squally winds with speeds reaching up to 60 km/hr and gusting to 70 km/hr are likely along these coasts tomorrow. We started search operations from November 30...

The president of the Fishermen's Unity Forum, Charles George, said many were still stuck in the sea.

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