‘Declare Ockhi a national disaster’
Following the loss of lives and fishermen going missing, as well as destruction to property in Kanniyakumari district due to Cyclone Ockhi, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the cyclone a national disaster and sought financial assistance.
In his letter, Mr. Palaniswami referred to the magnitude of the damage to power infrastructure, agriculture, road networks and fisheries infrastructure, among others, and contended it required the Centre’s “intervention”.
Referring to all the relief measures undertaken by the State government to restore normalcy in the district, he said a detailed memorandum would be submitted to the Centre. “In this hour of crisis, we need your immediate benevolent support,” the Chief Minister noted.
Of the 5,759 motorised fishing crafts and 1,229 mechanised fishing boats operating from Kanniyakumari district, around 600 mechanised fishing boats go for multi-day deep sea fishing. They had “ventured into sea long before the onset of depression” and hence, the alert about the depression and the cyclone “could not be communicated” to them, the CM contended.
“I request you [Mr. Modi] to direct the Ministry of Defence to continue the intense search and rescue operations along the Arabian Sea coast and deep sea from Kanniyakumari up to Gujarat and Maldives,” he added.