The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that cyclone ockhi that left behind a way of destruction in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Lakshadweep has now crossed over the Arabian Sea around 690km south-southwest of Mumbai and 870 km south-southwest of Gujarat’s Surat. The IMD’s director General KJ Ramesh said, “It is likely to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts by early Tuesday morning and settle as a deep depression.”
“We have issued heavy rainfall warnings for Gujarat, while light to moderate rain is expected in isolated areas in north Konkan, including Mumbai, on Tuesday,” Ramesh said. The level of the cyclone was lessened from ‘very severe’ on Sunday to ‘severe’, the weather department said. The weather department had also warned fishermen along the Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa coastline not to risk into the sea from Monday to Wednesday. The high winds and continuous rains affected the southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu last week and led loss to life and property. On Monday, the death toll touched the mark to 28 in Kerala following a rescue team recovered two more bodies. As per officials, at least 90 people were still missing in the state.
On Sunday, the authorities in Tamil Nadu said that the toll of deaths due to Cyclone Ockhi in the state has touched 19. At least 690 people have been rescued so far and 96 were still missing, the authorities said. The authorities added that 63 people have been hospitalized and 74 houses were wholly damaged and 1,122 partially damaged. On Monday, the defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that representatives of fishermen will also be included in the continuing search operation to save the missing in Kerala. “People of the coast are in deep distress. The government will do everything to alleviate their suffering. I will inform the Prime Minister and home minister what I have seen,” Sitharaman said in Poonthura. “We have even deployed warships. The rescue operation this time is more intense than the one during the tsunami in 2004. We are committed to saving the last man marooned in the sea,” she added.