Cyclone Ockhi: 19 dead, 690 people rescued, Navy continues rescue ops

The Indian Navy continued the search and rescue operations. Photo source: Twitter
The Tamil Nadu revenue control room on Sunday stated that the total number of deaths caused due to cyclone Ockhi has reached 19. 

The state department also said that at least 690 people were rescued, while 96 were still missing.

It further stated that 63 people were hospitalized, while 74 houses were fully damaged and 1,122 houses were partially damaged.

Meanwhile, the Indian Navy continued the search and rescue operations over Southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep and Minicoy (L&M) Islands in the aftermath of cyclonic storm Ockhi.

Ten naval ships, including capital ships like Chennai and Kolkata, were deployed over Southeast Arabian Sea and L&M islands.

In addition, eight aircrafts including long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I were deployed throughout the day.

Amid a political slugfest over Cyclone Ockhi, Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan said the IMD issued its first alert to Kerala about heavy rain on November 28 and a warning about the cylcone a day later.

In a statement, Vardhan said on the afternoon of November 29, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued the first bulletin of the cyclone warning and it was conveyed to all district officials in Kerala, the state disaster management authority and the chief secretary.

"In the first bulletin, the information was clearly provided on the possibility of further intensification of the system into a cyclonic storm and associated adverse weather.

"In the bulletin, there was a clear message for fishermen not to venture into the sea during the next 48 hours. This bulletin was repeated every three hours including on the night of November 29 and was still continuing," Vardhan said.

Tourism affected

High tides reportedly due to the Ockhi cyclone that has hit Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep inundated several beach stretches in Goa, hotel owners said.

They said that the water rushed into the beach shacks washing away beds put up on the shoreline.

The beaches like Morjim in North Goa and Mobor in South Goa were among the worst hit due to the water surge, they added.

Well-patronised beaches in North Goa like Baga and Anjuna too faced the consequences of the high tide with tourists refusing to visit the shoreline since last evening.

"The sudden rise in the water created a fearful situation amongst the tourists specially the foreign guests who went back to the hotel and did not return. This has affected tourism on a promising weekend when we were expecting heavy footfalls," said Manuel Cardoso, general secretary, Goa Traditional Shack Owners Association.

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