Cyclone Ockhi, which was headed towards northern Maharashtra and Gujarat, dissipated over the Arabian Sea before making land fall on the Gujarat coast. The poll-bound state heaved a sigh of relief as the storm died down after gradually weakening into a ‘depression’ on Tuesday night. However, an IMD release warned the sea condition would be rough along and off south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts during the next 12 hours.
In anticipation of the storm, over 3,000 people had been evacuated from 29 coastal villages in Surat district. The deep depression is likely to bring light to moderate rain in many parts of the state over the next three days, the Indian Meteorological Department said.
As Ockhi passed the coast of Mumbai Tuesday, the city witnessed the highest December rainfall in 142 years — since December 12, 1967 — with Colaba receiving 82.2 mm rainfall and Santacruz receiving 53.8 mm in 24 hours.
The Indian Navy on Tuesday, meanwhile, rescued 185 fishermen stranded off the coast of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Severely dehydrated, they were moved to safety. Till 6.00 pm on Tuesday, 608 people have been rescued from sea, the defence ministry confirmed.
Follow LIVE UPDATES on Cyclone Ockhi:
02:30 pm: “Fishermen along and off north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 12 hours,” the IMD release said.
02:21 pm: Tamil Nadu government offers Rs 41 lakh relief for damaged houses.
01:10 pm: “The depression over east-central and adjoining north-east Arabian Sea weakened into a well-marked lowpressure area over east central Arabian sea and adjoining areas of north-east Arabian Sea, north coastal Maharashtra and south coastal Gujarat at 23:30 hours yesterday,” the IMD press release said.
01:08 pm: As per an early morning release by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclonic storm first
turned into a ‘deep depression’, then into a ‘depression’ and finally into a ‘low pressure’ area after midnight.
12.22 pm: The Navy has released a graphic, indicating the deployment of ships and air crafts along the west coast, for rescue operations. Rescue operations are underway; so far 629 people have been rescued off the coast of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) December 6, 2017
11.31 am: Till 9 am this morning, 629 people, including five Sri Lankan nationals, have been rescued by personnel, the defence ministry says. There are 233 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 361 from Kerala who have been rescued.
10.57 am: According to the MeT, the cyclone has weakened due to “unfavourable environmental conditions. Jayanta Sarkar, director of the MeT, was quoted as saying by PTI, “The system weakened mainly because of unfavourable environmental conditions, like high wind shear and colder sea surface near the coast. The system weakened because it is winter. The story would have been different had it occurred during the monsoon or pre-monsoon season.”
10.19 am: Three fishermen from Tamil Nadu and two from Kerala have joined the search for the missing fishermen at sea. for 3 days on board INS Kalpeni #CycloneOckhi
10.00 am: Search and rescue operations are still underway by the Indian Navy and coast guard for the missing fishermen off the Kerala and Tamil Nadu coasts. There are 22 ships and five aircrafts involved in operations. On Tuesday, 185 fishermen, severely dehydrated, were rescued by personnel.
9.31 am: Due to the cyclone, Congress and BJP rallies in poll-bound Gujarat were cancelled on Tuesday but will resume today. BJP president Amit Shah’s rallies in Rajula town of Amreli and Mahuva and Shihor of Bhavnagar district were cancelled, while Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s in Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar were called off.
Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address rallies in Dhandhuka, Dahod and Netrang. On Tuesday, Modi had said he was continuously monitoring the cyclone, and has provided assistance to those affected. He had appealed to his party’s Karyakaraks in the state to “devote themselves to providing all possible assistance.” Soon after, Rahul Gandhi too urged Congress workers to “support the needy during this hour of crisis.”
9.00 am: Fishermen have been cautioned against venturing out to sea, as conditions are likely to remain rough for the next 18 hours.
8.45 am: The last bulletin issued by the IMD on Tuesday night stated that Cyclone Ockhi is likely to hit Gujarat only as a “depression”. Located 240 kilometres south-southwest of the state, it is likely to bring rain over the next three days. The cyclone has dissipated due to “unfavourable environmental conditions”, and due to the onset of winter, IMD added.