Dead, 80 Fishermen Missing As Cyclone Ockhi Nears Lakshadweep: 10 Facts

There were also reports of atleast 50 trees being uprooted by strong winds

Though IMD regional director S Sudevan said on Thursday the formation was moving towards Lakshadweep Islands and there was no need to panic, he added that Ockhi was also likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours. P8I aircraft, Navy Dornier and Coast Guard Dornier also airborne for search and rescue.

Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has deployed five ships from Kochi while two are already on standby in Lakshadweep.

FISHERMEN MISSING: A rough sea and pounding rains worsened fears in Thiruvananthapuram where families await the return of at least 100 fishermen who ventured out early on Thursday. Kochi and Tuticorin have also deployed two Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ships.

The first cyclonic storm of the season has finally formed and has been named as Ockhi.

Damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards has also been forecast while storm surge of about 1 meter above astronomical tides could very likely inundate low lying areas of Lakshadweep Islands from tonight, it warned.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and army are awaiting distress call to serve as heavy rains and winds are expected to continue for the next 12 hours.

While authorities have asked fishermen to not venture into the sea, schools in several districts have been told to remain shut. Four trains were partially cancelled due to cyclonic wind and incessant torrential rain between Nagercoil-Kanyakumari, Nagercoil Thiruvnanthpuram and Nagercoil-Tirunelveli sections.

Collector K.S. Kandasamy has declared a holiday for schools in Tiruvannamalai district due to heavy rain.

In Tamil Nadu, trees were uprooted and and people in low-lying areas were evacuated to safer places and relief camps. Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 km gusting to 75 km/hour likely along and off Kerala coast.

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