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Cyclone Ockhi: 531 fishermen rescued says Kerala CM; cyclone to move towards Mumbai in 48 hours

Cyclone Ockhi: 531 fishermen rescued says Kerala CM; cyclone to move towards Mumbai in 48 hours
Highlights

The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard continued search for missing fishermen using ships, dornier aircraft and helicopters in the -'rough sea-' off...

The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard continued search for missing fishermen using ships, dornier aircraft and helicopters in the "rough sea" off Kerala and Lakshadweep in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi.

While INS Nireekshak, INS Jamuna and INS Sagardhwani are continuing search and rescue operations in their designated areas along the coast off Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, two ships INS Shardul and INS Sharda are heading towards Lakshadweep, a defence spokesman said.

Ockhi is expected to travel north towards Mumbai and Gujarat in the next 48 hours, according to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Director S. Sudevan in Trivandrum, though it is likely to lose intensity.

"The intensity of the wind may come down and the cyclone could change into depression," Sudevan said adding fishermen have been warned not go to the sea for the next few days as waves are likely to be 3-5 metres (12-15 feet) high.

As many as 531 fishermen, stranded in the choppy waters off the Kerala and the Lakshadweep coasts due to Cyclone Ockhi, have been rescued, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today.

So far 393 people from Kerala have been rescued, Vijayan said, as the state government announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of those who died in the storm.Of the rescued, 132 fishermen were from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, 66 from Kozhikode, 55 from Kollam, 40 from Thrissur, and 100 from Kanyakumari, Vijayan told reporters.

Besides, 138 fishermen have been rescued from the Lakshadweep islands, he said.

Vijayan said the Rs 10-lakh compensation would be in addition to the financial assistance of Rs four lakh being given by the fisheries department.Assistance will also be provided to those who had lost their boat and equipment, he added.In Lakshadweep, 31 relief camps have been opened in the 10 inhabited islands. So far, 1,047 people have been evacuated to the relief camps, official sources said.

The naval ships, which left from the Southern Naval Command here yesterday, are likely to reach Lakshadweep this evening. The spokesman said about eight boats from Kerala with 36 people on board are reported to be adrift at sea off Kalpeni island. "The sea is very rough.. Naval ships moved as soon as we received intimation," he said.

Fifteen fishermen rescued by the Coast Guard are being brought to the Thiruvananthapuram coast, the official said.Four fishermen were rescued by a Navy chopper this morning, 20 miles off Kochi. They were taken to a naval clinic here for medical examination.

INS Nireekshak rescued two fishermen off Alappuzha coast.INS Sagardhwani fished out one cadaver, 30 km off Thiruvananthapuram coast.The ship had earlier found another cadaver.

The body has been handed over to the civil administration, he said. Indian Coast Guard ship Samar rescued a fishing boat with five crew members on board, the spokesman said.

He said one of the crew in an advanced light helicopter (ALH) was wounded while assisting fishermen trapped in the sea off Kerala coast.The crew member, V K Verma, suffered hand injury caused by the winch wire.

He, however, continued "heroically" to help the fishermen to be rescued, before himself being winched up, the spokesman said. Verma has been admitted to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.

The 'very severe' cyclonic storm Ockhi -- which in Bengali means 'eye' -- is likely to continue to move west- northwestwards across Lakshadweep islands during the next 24 hours and then recurve northeastwards during the subsequent 48 hours, a Met department bulletin said.

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