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Cyclone Ockhi: Maha, Guj on high alert; Kerala toll at 25

05 December 2017
Cyclone Ockhi: Maha, Guj on high alert; Kerala toll at 25

As Cyclone Ockhi still posed threat, the coast guards in different locations continued their efforts to rescue fishermen stranded at sea, on Sunday.

According to Skymet Weather, the cyclonic storm is expected to move northwestwards towards Gujarat and Maharashtra before gradually weakening.

The intensity of the cyclone is likely to weaken on Monday and subsequently on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the reports of thousands of fishermen stranded in the cyclone were false and the number of missing Tamil Nadu fishermen was 97.

The government said search operations were being carried out to locate and rescue the remaining fishermen and their boats.

A man uses his mobile phone to take photographs of tides on the shores of the Arabian Sea, after flooding caused by Cyclone Ockhi in the coastal village of Chellanam in the southern state of Kerala, India, December 2, 2017.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh today called up Tamil Nadu and Kerala chief ministers and assured them of all help in dealing with the situation arising out of Cyclone Ockhi while the National Crisis Management Committee reviewed rescue and relief operations. "We were thrown into the sea by the cyclone (Ockhi)".

Thiruvananthapuram district Collector S Vasuki said strict instructions have been given that "none should venture into the sea for fishing".

"I appealed to them that the search operations with even warships are going on and will continue till the last of the missing fishermen is brought back". A total of 20 fishermen from the state were rescued while the toll in Ockhi-related incidents was officially put at 25. "The Central Government have deployed Coast Guard - Ships (10), Aircraft (3), Helicopters (1); Navy - Ships (10), Aircraft (2), Helicopters (2); Airforce - Aircraft (1), Helicopters (3) for rescue and relief", a government statement said.

A total of 11 Indian Coast Guard ships, two aircraft and two helicopters are presently carrying out search and rescue operations off the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Lakshadweep and Minicoy.