Chennai: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday informed that, so far, 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, who had been stranded in sea due to Cyclone Ockhi, have been rescued.
Defence Minister reached Kanyakumari on Sunday to take stock of the situation in the wake of the cyclonic storm, which has tormented the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and now Lakshadweep islands.
While addressing the media here, Sitharaman said “Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force are still engaged in rescue operations to save the lives of fishermen affected by Cyclone Ockhi.”
“Information has also been passed to international safety network and foreign ships to help rescue our fishermen. Meanwhile, 68 boats have reached Maharashtra coast out of which two boats were from Tamil Nadu and others from Kerala,” she said.
Defence Minister also said they have requested their team to widen the area under search operations, as many coastal villages have informed them that fishermen who went 15 days ago have not yet returned.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu authorities yesterday stated that the total number of deaths caused due to cyclone Ockhi has reached 19.
The state department also said that at least 690 people have been rescued so far while 96 were still missing.
It further stated that 63 people have been hospitalized while 74 houses have been fully damaged and 1,122 houses have been partially damaged.
The deadly cyclone, which has claimed many lives, lashed the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Saturday with torrential rainfall and gusty winds.