The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that Cyclone Ockhi has intensified from ‘severe’ category to a ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm and it is very likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that 531 fishermen, who were marooned off the Kerala and the Lakshadweep coasts have been rescued.
The Kerala state government has also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the family of those who died in the storm. The compensation would be in addition to the financial assistance of Rs four lakh being given by the fisheries department, according to a PTI report.
Assistance will also be provided to those who had lost their boat and equipment, added Vijayan.
The Tamil Nadu government has said it will soon seek central funds for the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi. Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts are the worst-hit districts of the state.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami has also announced a sum of Rs 25 crore for furthering relief and restoration work in Kanyakumari district and asked various departments to coordinate on a war-footing.
The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are carrying on search operations using ships, Dornier aircraft, and helicopters off Kerala and Lakshadweep.
“While INS Nireekshak, INS Jamuna, and INS Sagardhwani are continuing search and rescue operations in their designated areas along the coast off Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, two ships INS Shardul and INS Sharda are heading towards Lakshadweep,” said a defence spokesperson.
(With Agency inputs)