as 445 fishermen from both Tamil Nadu and Kerala who were out in the Indian
Ocean region when cyclone Ockhi struck nearly 35 days ago, are still missing on
Official account according to information provided to the Parliament by Minister
of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdhry last week.
written reply to a question on the issue in the Lok Sabha, the Minister listed
the damage caused by the cyclone which struck the landís end on November 29th
night. Ninety fishermen from both Tami
Nadu and Kerala perished in the storm. Four hundred fishing boats mostly from
Tami Nadu were totally damaged in the storm. Crops in twelve thousand hectares
Minister said the cyclone OCKHI had rapid intensification during its genesis
stage. The system emerged into the Comorin Area during night of November 29th and
intensified into Deep Depression in the early hrs of 30th and
into Cyclonic Storm in the forenoon.
Regular warnings were issued for fishermen along and off Tamil Nadu,
Kerala, Lakshdweep Islands, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat, Dadra
Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu coasts.
Three hourly tropical Cyclone Advisories were issued to central &
state level disaster managers, media, general public from 29th November
forenoon onwards the minister said referring to the wide spread criticism by
the fishermen of the area that they were not forewarned of the impending
cyclone. Kerala chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had blamed the Met authorities
for not providing the information about the cyclone in time.
Refuting the charges the
Union minister said the first information regarding formation of depression
over Bay Of Bengal (BOB) during next 48-72 hours (i.e. 30th onwards)
was issued on 28th November in the Tropical Weather Outlook
issued at 1200 hrs IST and depression formed over southeast BOB in the morning
In its first bulletin based
on 0830 IST of 29th November 2017, Regional Specialized
Meteorological Centre New Delhi indicated the west-north westward movement of
system and its emergence into Comorin area by 30th. It was also
mentioned that the system would intensify further.
Cyclone Warning for
Lakshadweep, south Kerala and south Tamil Nadu was given in the bulletin issued
at 1155 hrs IST of 30th Nov.
First warning of storm surge of
height about 1.0 m above astronomical tides likely to inundate low lying areas
of Lakshadweep Islands and 0.5 m above astronomical tides likely to inundate
low lying areas of south Kerala, south Karnataka coasts was issued on 30th.evening
The common advisory bulletin was issued by IMD to
all state Governments (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and UT of Lakshadweep) for taking
appropriate precautionary actions based on the likely adverse conditions both
over the land and adjoining Sea areas as mentioned in all the bulletins of IMD
commencing from Bulletin No. 1 issued in the forenoon of 29th Nov. 2017. Same
contents of the bulletin were also resent by NDMA through WhatsApp group to
relevant state Govt. authorities periodically starting from 29th Nov.
bulletins were sent to disaster management authorities through e-mail and fax.
Also SMSs were sent at least once a day. In addition, IMD officers at
Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai regularly interacted with
the state Govt officials since 29th afternoon through phone and
personal meetings. All above communications are directed jointly by IMD and
NDMA to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep governments to consider taking all
necessary response actions at their respective ends.
IMD has one of the best
forecasting mechanisms for predicting tropical cyclones using high resolution
advanced mathematical models and a suite of quality observations from
Satellites and Radars. IMD also has rich experience of more than 100
years in tropical cyclone prediction and has many trained and experienced
scientists specialized in forecasting. In the recent past, IMD accurately
predicted cyclones like Phailin, HudHud and Vardah and helped to save thousands
of lives. The improvement in the monitoring and forecasting of such
tropical cyclones is a continuous process.