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Even as Cyclone Ockhi weakens, Kerala CM calls on Centre to declare it 'national calamity'

Even as Cyclone Ockhi weakens, Kerala CM calls on Centre to declare it
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has decided to ask the Centre to declare the Ockhi cyclone as a ‘national calamity’.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has decided to ask the Centre to declare the Ockhi cyclone as a ‘national calamity’.

Vijayan took to his Twitter handle on Saturday to inform about the same and further wrote that the chief secretary has been entrusted to prepare the memorandum in this regard.

“KERALA govt has decided to ask the Union government to declare the Ockhi cyclone a national calamity. The Chief Secretary has been entrusted to prepare the memorandum in this regard. #CycloneOckhi (sic),” he tweeted.

The Indian Coast Guard stated that the cyclone Ockhi, which has originated from Kanyakumari on November 29, has moved towards Lakshadweep islands and has intensified into 'severe cyclonic storm' with wind reaching up to speed of 60 to 70 km.

"The cyclone has wrecked havoc on South Kerala with severe damage to coastal areas and has endangered lives of fishermen operating at sea," the Coast Guard informed in a statement.

Earlier in the day, India Meteorological Department claimed that cyclone Ockhi would intensify in the next 36 hours and move Northwest in the next three to four days.

Cyclone Ockhi has lashed the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Saturday with torrential rainfall and gusty winds.

Seven people, five in Trivandrum and one each in Kollam and Kasaragod districts, have died till now.

Meanwhile, the IMD said that the cyclone is likely to weaken from Sunday. “The very severe cyclonic storm Ockhi over Lakshadweep area and adjoining Southeast Arabian Sea further moved northwestwards with a speed of 15 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centred at 2330 hrs IST of December 2, 2017 over southeast Arabian Sea near Latitude 11.1’ N and Longitude 69.7’ E, about 330 km west of Amini Divi. The system is very likely to weaken gradually from today the December 3, 2017 morning," said IMD.

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