The Indian Navy and Indian Air Force are searching for at least 200
fishermen still missing in Kerala and Tamil Nadu following cyclonic storm Ockhi
as torrential rains and gusty winds continued to pound the southern districts
of the two states.
The India Meteorological Department said Ockhi is now lying over the
south-west Arabian Sea and slowly moving towards the Lakshadweep Islands. It is
likely to have landfall in the early hours of Saturday, it added.
The weather office also said coastal areas in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are
likely to experience heavy showers and winds reaching a speed of 75kmph in the
next 36 hours.
Governments in both the states have asked rescue and disaster management
teams to remain alert and on standby to limit the loss of lives after eight
people died in both the states on Thursday.
Four ships of the Indian Navy and four aircraft of the Indian Air Force
have joined rescue operations to look for the missing fishermen.
Vizinjam coastal police said at least 57 fishermen, who ventured into the
sea from Thumba and Pozhiyur areas on Wednesday, are yet to return. The police
have established contact with some of them but a majority is still missing.
chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state got the warning about the
situation very late as families of many missing fishermen said authorities
failed to give proper warning to them.