Chennai: More than 500 fishermen stranded in the rough sea off Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts have been rescued even as cyclone Ockhi on Saturday lay centered over the South East Arabian Sea and about 250 km near Amini Divi in the Lakshadweep Islands. The death toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala and Tamil Nadu rose to 13, officials said.
The state government decided to urge the Centre to declare Cyclone Ockhi, which left a trail of destruction in the state, a national calamity. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan entrusted chief secretary K M Abraham with the task of preparing a memorandum in this regard, chief minister office (CMO) sources said.
Meanwhile, a fresh spell of heavy rain is in store in some areas of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry with a low pressure area forming over south Andaman sea, which is “very likely” to become a depression over the Bay of Bengal.
The system is likely to move towards Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh in the next three to four days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The state government requested the Centre to deploy helicopters of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard to search and rescue missing fishermen, mostly from Kanyakumari. The Coast Guard rescued 198 fishermen and 18 fishing boats of Tamil Nadu off the Western coast.