Cy­clone bat­ters south­west­ern In­dia coast killing 14, many miss­ing

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL -

MUM­BAI, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Cy­clone Ockhi bar­relled into the Laksh­wadeep is­lands in south­west­ern In­dia on Satur­day after drench­ing the neigh­bour­ing states of Ker­ala and Tamil Nadu, claim­ing so far around 14 lives with many fish­er­men still feared trapped at sea.

Au­thor­i­ties in­clud­ing the Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Author­ity ( NDMA), In­dia's Coast Guard and Navy have res­cued about 223 fish­er­men and evac­u­ated thou­sands of peo­ple from cy­clone hit ar­eas, of­fi­cials said, as they con­tin­ued their op­er­a­tions on Satur­day.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has spo­ken to the chief min­is­ter of Tamil Nadu, as­sur­ing him of sup­port op­er­a­tions in­clud­ing nec­es­sary funds, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia.

Ockhi is ex­pected to travel north to­wards Mum­bai and Gu­jarat in the next 48 hours, ac­cord­ing to In­dian Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment (IMD) Di­rec­tor S. Sude­van in Trivan­drum, though it is likely to lose in­ten­sity.

“The in­ten­sity of the wind may come down and the cy­clone could change into de­pres­sion,” Sude­van said adding fish­er­men have been warned not go to the sea for the next few days as waves are likely to be 3-5 me­tres high.

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