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Cyclone Ockhi highlights: Death toll rises to 12 as heavy rains lash Kerala, Tamil Nadu

Cyclone Ockhi LIVE updates: The Indian Navy has launched search and rescue operations and set up a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operation in southern Kerala.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 2, 2017 8:21:29 am
Cyclone Ockhi LIVE updates: Death toll rises to 12, cyclone to intensify further in Lakshadweep A fisherman’s family waits for rescue vessels to return, in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. (Express Photo/Sreekesh Raveendran)

Cyclone Ockhi has claimed at least 12 lives so far even as it intensified into a ‘severe’ cyclone on Friday, causing heavy rains in the coastal areas of Kerala and south Tamil Nadu. Over 200 fishermen from Kerala, who were left stranded in the sea because of inclement weather conditions, were brought safely to the shore by yesterday night.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has already warned that “high waves” towering 3-4.9m would be seen 10 km off Kerala’s coast from 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm today.

With the Kerala government issuing an alert for all coastal districts, IMD director general K J Ramesh told The Indian Express that the worst impact of the cyclone is likely to be over by today evening.

According to a joint bulletin issued by IMD and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) released yesterday, the severe cyclonic storm, centred over Lakshadweep, is likely to further intensify in the next 12 hours. At least 10 locations on the islands would witness high waves ranging from 4.8-7.4m in the next 24 hours, along with “heavy to very heavy rainfall”, said the bulletin.

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Various units of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the Indian Navy have been engaged in the relief work and have been working strenuously to bring out the stranded people.

Cyclone Ockhi Highlights: 


09.15 pm: There is a possibility of “huge waves” occurring in nine districts of Kerala on December 2, according to Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services. Alerts have been issued in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kochi, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod.

07.00pm: President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter to express his concern about the damages caused due to the cyclone. He wrote, “Thoughts with families, especially children, in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Lakshadweep, other regions affected by rains and cyclonic conditions. Confident local authorities, emergency services and civil society will rise to the occasion. And that citizens will help one another.”

06.30pm: The Indian Coast Guard continues rescue operations with 09 Ships and 02 Dornier Aircraft off Kerala and Tamil Nadu Coast. 52 Fishermen rescued so far. International Safety Net (ISN) activated to advise Merchant Traffic to render assistance.

06.15 pm:  As per latest reports by the Indian Navy, a total number of 134 personnel were rescued by IN, IAF and ICG utilising ships and aircraft. This includes the rescue of 37 people by IN ALH flying between Trivandrum and sea area where personnel are stranded. IN ships Sagardhwani, Jamuna, Nireekshak are also in the area.

06.00 pm:

05.45pm: Observed and forecast track of the severe cyclonic storm (Image source: IMD)

05.30 pm: Astronomical tides are very likely to inundate low lying areas of Lakshadweep Islands, as per IMD reports.

05.15pm: According to the IMD, damage to power and communication lines due to the breaking of tree branches and uprooting of large avenue trees have been reported. Houses, roads and standing crops has also been damaged in certain areas.

04.55 pm: Two fishing boats Arokia Mary and Hermen Mary from Kanyakumari which were reportedly missing since yesterday with eight crew members were rescued by Coast Guard Ship C-427 off Vizhinjam port in Kerala.

04.50 pm: Indian Air Force Helicopter rescuing stranded fishermen at Sea.

04.35 pm: At least 130 families from Chellanam, 17 families from Kumbalangi and 18 families from Edavanakad are rehabilitated from the coastal areas, according to ANI reports.

04.15pm: Indian Navy ships Sharda and Shardul sailed out to augment search effort, in final stages of embarking humanitarian assistance and disaster relief items for assistance at Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands, as per ANI reports.

03.45pm: 16 survivors have been picked up by air and surface units of the Indian Navy. Search and rescue efforts are progressing off Vizhinjam port where approximately 40 people were stranded at sea.

03.00 pm: Fishermen along and off Lakshadweep Islands, Kerala and Karnataka coast are advised not to venture into the sea during next 48 hours, says IMD.

2: 05 pm: Five people have died and 22 fishermen are missing in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari. As per ANI, 62 houses have been fully damaged and 240 houses are partly damaged due to heavy rains in Kanyakumari district. 16 rehabilitation centres have been established by the state government in which 1044 people are being given shelter.

2: 00 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announces ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to kin of five people who died in rain related incidents in Kanyakumari district, reports ANI.

1: 00 pm:

12: 50 pm: 59 people stranded due to heavy rains rescued by Navy and coastal guards in Trivandrum, reports ANI

12: 25 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there were serious lapses from the side of state disaster management department. The alert from Hyderabad was not sent to the government on time, reports ANI.

11: 25 am: Lakshadweep Islands put on high alert as cyclone Ockhi intensifies into severe cyclone, reports Skymet.

11: 10 am: Boeing P8I Aircraft deployed at first light from INS Rajali this morning sights seven survivors hanging on to a capsized boat ~25 miles West of Trivandrum. Aircraft drops life raft in the vicinity and reported the exact position. Ships in area are being diverted to render assistance. Advanced Light Helicopter has dropped a life raft for eight survivors at sea 20nm off Trivandrum and is picking up two critically injured survivors from MV Energy Orpheus. Naval Sea king helicopter being launched shortly to recover eight survivors and additional search, says Indian Navy.

10:55 am: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks to DG NDRF and reviews the situation in the areas affected by cyclone Ockhi. The NDRF teams have already been moved to the affected areas, says the Home Ministry. More teams are on standby to respond to any further emergencies. MHA is also closely monitoring the situation.

10: 35 am:

— ANI (@ANI) December 1, 2017

10:30 am: Cyclone Ockhi has intensified into a severe Cyclone. Extremely heavyrains are expected over Lakshdweep and the rain intensity will reduce over Kerala and Tamil Nadu, reports Skymet.

10:15 am: In a span of 24 hours, Coonoor saw 129 mm of rain, Kodaikanal 131 mm, Madurai 46 mm, Atiramapattinam 49 mm and Vellore 53 mm, reports Skymet.

9:05 am:  In 24 hours from 8:30 am yesterday,Minicoy in Lakshadweep has witnessed 191 mm of rain. More rains on their way as cylcone Ockhi gets closer to the Islands.  In the same duration, Punalur recorded 92 mm of rain and Thiruvananthapuram witnessed 79 mm in Kerala. reports Skymet.

8:50 am: Cyclone Ockhi to become a severe cyclone today, heavy rain in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, predicts Skymet.

8:30 am: Five Navy ships deployed from Kochi. Two ships on standby in Lakshadweep. Two ICG ships each deployed from Kochi and Tuticorin. P8I aircraft, Navy Dornier and Coast Guard Dornier also airborne for search and rescue. Helicopter on standby with divers, reports ANI.

8:20 am: Due to dislocation of train services in the Nagercoil-Trivandrum section, rail services have been affected on the route. Today, seven trains with numbers 56313, 56310, 56386, 56362, 56363, 56389, 16791 and 16792 have been cancelled. Tomorrow, trains with numbers 56305, 56334, 56333, 56309, 56313, 56715 will remain cancelled.

Besides these, many trains have been partially cancelled and many trains have been rescheduled.

8:00 am: Schools in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Villupuram, Kanyakumari, Nellai, Theni, Dindigul, Madurai and Thoothukudi to remain closed today, reports Skymet.

7:50 am:  Cyclone Ockhi lashed South TamilNadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep with heavy showers. As it is moving towards Lakshadweep Island, now the rain intensity will reduce over Tamil Nadu. Heavy rain will occur over Kerala and extremely heavy over Lakshadweep, predicts Skymet.

7: 30 am:  IMD regional director S Sudevan said Thursday the formation is moving west-northwestwards towards Lakshadweep Islands and is likely to further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours. There is no need to panic, he added.

7: 00 am: At least eight people have so far lost their lives while hundreds have been affected due to the heavy rain pounding the southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu because of cyclonic storm ‘Ockhi’, thus bringing life to a standstill.

Read| What is cyclone Ockhi?

1: 20 am: At least seven people dead and five fishermen missing in Sri Lanka as a tropical storm hit the country.

Cyclone Ockhi Cyclone Ockhi LIVE updates: A powerful storm coupled with heavy rains hit several parts of Sri Lanka, killing at least seven persons and affecting nearly 20,000 people. (Source: ANI)

12:45 am: According to Skymet, Chennai on Thursday recorded 20 mm of rainfall since 8:30 am

12:40 am: Skymet predicts extremely heavy rains to lash Lakshadweep area for the next 48 hours

12: 30 am: According to Skymet, the sea conditions will remain rough and will be accompanied with strong winds blowing along the coasts of Kerala, Lakshadweep and South Tamil Nadu. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea.

12: 05 am: District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Kanyakumari have released a list of emergency contacts:

Cyclone Ockhi rescue operations Cyclone Ockhi LIVE updates: Heavy rains will continue to lash Kanyakumari. Please share the helpline numbers.

December 1

11: 55 pm: The Kerala government and HQSNC Kochi are coordinating the SAR efforts and are in constant touch with the defence ministry.

11: 50 pm: With reports of over 250 fishermen still missing and unaccounted for, INS Sagardhwani sailed to joined the search and rescue operations. The situation is closely monitored by Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) at Kochi and Mumbai.

11: 40 pm: Defence Ministry few minutes ago tweeted out a picture of a fisherman being rescued from sea off Vizhinjam (Kerala) coast by the Indian Coast Guards.

Cyclone Ockhi rescue operations Cyclone Ockhi LIVE updates: A fisherman was rescued from sea off Vizhinjam (Kerala) coast by the Indian Coast Guards.

11:35 pm: Two OPVs have been deployed for search and rescue assitance off Kanyakumari coast. One OPV is being deployed ex Toothukudi and additional Dornier sorties will be taken up from dawn.

11:30 pm: Nirmala Sitharaman on Twitter said that the Defence Ministry office is in touch with both Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy. She also spoke with Inspector General Nautiyal, Regional Commander (West) Coast Guard and have asked to step up the rescue measures.

11: 15 pm: The Defence Ministry on Twitter said that 6 warships and 2 coast guard ships have been deployed to rescue the missing fishing boats with crew off Kerala coast. Air assistance in the search operation will also be included by tomorrow.

11:00 pm: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Twitter said that around 280 fishermen are missing and unaccounted for from Thiruvananthapuram. The leader said that he discussed the ongoing situation with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who promptly assured of immediate action.

10.20 pm: Satellite image of Cyclone Ockhi. (Image source: IMD)

10.15 pm: Tamil Nadu has government deployed state and national disaster response force teams in Kanyakumari district, reports PTI.

10.10 pm: Four rain related deaths, including an elderly couple who were electrocuted in front of their house at Kattakada near Thiruvananthapuram, reports PTI.

10.05 pm: Three men and a woman were killed in different incidents of trees falling on them in Kanyakumari district, PTI quoted local officials.

9.50 pm: Cyclone Ockhi lies at about 130 km southwest of Thiruvananthapuram, likely to move towards Lakshadweep Islands area, says IMD Chennai (ANI)

9.40 pm: Visuals from Shankumugham Beach in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala.

9.00 pm: Cyclone Ockhi wrecks havoc in Sri Lanka as heavy rains hit several parts, killing at least seven persons and affecting nearly 20,000 people, reports PTI citing local authorities.

8.50 pm: Have also instructed that the local self governing bodies and citizens must be informed in advance about the opening of dam shutters. Helicopters and Dornier aircraft of Indian Navy are being used for rescue operations: CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

8.40 pm: District collectors of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Idukki & Ernakulam have shared details about the initial damage due to extremely heavy rains. Have asked them to shift people away from disaster prone areas and if needed with the help of Coast Guard, Navy & Air-force, tweets CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

8.30 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan instructs the district collectors to be on alert.

8.20 pm: Four boats of the coastal police have been deployed to se to trace the missing fishermen.

8.10 pm: Over 200 fishermen have failed to return to Thiruvananthapuram coast, Skymet Weather quotes media report.

7.55 pm: Low lying areas of coastal districts of south Kerala – Alappuzha, Kollam, and Thiruvananthapuram districts – are very likely to inundate due to heavy rains in the next 12 hours, says IMD.

6.30 pm: The Southern Naval Command is also gearing up for any Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief that may be required due to the effects of the storm in the southern part of Kerala, reporst ANI.

6.15 pm: Search and rescue operation by Indian Navy for 6 fishing boats with crew and a Marine Engg vessel missing at sea off Kerala coast under influence of cyclone Ockhi.

5.55 pm: MET Department has issued an alert of heavy rainfall in Kanyakumari and several other places in the state, reports ANI.

5.45 pm: Four people died in Tamil Nadu as heavy rain and strong winds disrupt normal life in Kanyakumari, reports ANI.

5.20 pm: Watch: Scene At Kuttalam Falls After Cyclone In Tamil Nadu

4.57 pm: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s Kerala visit scheduled for December 1-2 has been postponed due to cyclonic conditions in the area, reports ANI.

4.55 pm: Traffic on national highway between Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are likely to face disruptions due to heavy rains.

4.50 pm: IMD issues warning as power and communication lines could be damaged due to breaking of tree branches and uprooting of trees. Damage to thatched, kutcha houses and crops likely.

4.45 pm: By tomorrow it will be over Lakshwadeep Islands, says MET Kerala chief S Sudevan, reports ANI.

4. 40 pm: Visuals of destruction from Kerala caused by heavy rains and strong winds due to the onset of cyclone Ockhi, reports ANI.

4.35 pm: Long-distance trains like Jayanthi Janatha and Island Express have been rescheduled, some passenger trains between Kanyakumari and Trivandrum have been cancelled for today.

4.30 pm: The southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu received heavy rainfall as Cyclone Ockhi, which originated near the Sri Lankan coast, rattled through the Arabian Sea towards Lakshwadeep islands.

4.25 pm: Heavy rains in Trivandrum, Kollam, Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, schools have been shut due to Cyclone Ockhi.

4.20pm: The southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu received heavy rainfall as Cyclone Ockhi, which originated near the Sri Lankan coast, rattled through the Arabian Sea towards Lakshwadeep islands.

4.15 pm: MeT Chennai Director S Balachandran issues cyclone warning for Tamil Nadu, reports ANI.

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