ICG issues warning as cyclone Ockhi heads for Maharashtra, Gujarat

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ICG issues warning as cyclone Ockhi heads for Maharashtra, Gujarat

After wreaking havoc in the southern states, cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in Gujarat and Maharashtra, resulting in unseasonal rain and thundershowers over the next 48 hours.

"When the Tamil Nadu government issued a warning to the fishermen, what happened to our government, where were they?" asked an angry group of anxious relatives waiting to hear about their near ones at Vizhinjam near here.

Hailing the efforts of the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 400 fishermen stranded at sea had been rescued. Necessary advisories have been issued to fishermen and others.

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

A precautionary holiday has been declared in schools in Mumbai and adjoining districts on Tuesday due to "serious weather predictions" in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi, said Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde.

The cyclone has ravaged a large part of coastal areas there.

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

Though cyclone Ockhi moved away from Lakshadweep to Gujarat, big waves and squally winds made their presence felt along Kerala's coast. "There are indications that low-lying areas may see a water surge intermittently at Kollam, Alappuzha, Kochi, Ponnani, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod", said KSDMA officials. "It was a nightmare", said a rescued fisherman.

Meanwhile, The Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force are engaged in rescue operations with their ships, aircraft and helicopters. In Tamil Nadu, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy announced Rs 25 crore for rescue, relief and rehabilitation works in the storm-hit Kanyakumari district. "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.

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