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Cyclone Ockhi to recurve towards Gujarat coast: Top developments

Cyclone Ockhi to recurve towards Gujarat coast: Top developments

Sea conditions will be rough to very rough along these coasts, while strong surface winds reaching speeds of 35 km/hr and gusting to 45 km/hr are likely over parts of South Gujarat and North Madhya Maharashtra.

The minister said that fishermen who left for the sea several days before the cyclone warning have been spotted. We have received a memorandum from the state government requesting to declare Cyclone Ockhi as a national calamity.

More than 200 fishermen stranded off the Kerala coast as Cyclone Ockhi continued its trail of destruction were rescued on Friday by search teams drawn from the armed forces during a massive operation involving helicopters and ships. However, there is no such scheme for the Centre to do the same.

Though the Union tourism minister had earlier backed the Kerala government's contention that they had not received any prior warning about the cyclone, he later clarified that the central agencies had given necessary alerts on 28 and 29 November itself.

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Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government received the warning on Thursday. The Union Minister later visited nearby Poonthura, a coastal hamlet where fishermen are protesting alleging delay in rescue. The state could have warned fishermen on the deep depression, Mr Kannanthanam said.

Army personnel bring a fisherman rescued from sea. The meeting was also attended by the officials of Ministry of Home Affairs, National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Defence, Indian Navy, India Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Meteorological Department, etc. "There would not be any dilution of operations", she said.

"Precautionary holiday declared on December 5 for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurga, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts for the safety of students due to serious weather predictions on Cyclone Ockhi", Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde said on Twitter. "Fishermen are asked not to venture into deep sea of north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast till 25 December", he added.

In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, three more deaths were reported on Friday. The boats are now docked at Mirya Bunder, Ratnagiri. On Saturday Fadnavis tweeted that in all, 68 fishing boats, out of which 66 were from Kerala and two from Tamil Nadu, had reached Sindhudurg coast with 952 fishermen on board. They had been in a critical condition after their boats were battered by high waves churned by the Ockhi, which passed as close as 70km from the Kerala coast on Friday at 110kmph. So far, 1,047 people have been evacuated to the relief camps, official sources said.

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