The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday, December 1 issued high alert in southernmost tip of Kerala which saw many buildings inundated with water and heavily waterlogged streets with electric poles and trees falling all around. Nine people have died due to the cyclone in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and seven reportedly died from Sri Lanka.
The latest statistics released by the IMD this morning clearly shows the wind speed rising from 55-60 kmph to 100 110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph and its very likely Cyclone Ockhi make landfall at the Lakshadweep Islands on Saturday.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday, "We have asked for help from the Navy and the Coast Guard as a batch of fishermen from here has not returned."
On Thursday, media reports said that around 200 fishermen hadn't returned from sea to Kerala. The authorities immediately deployed naval ships and aircraft to rescue the fishermen. The combined operation of Indian Airforce, Indian Navy and the India Coast Guard have rescued over 140 fishermen and they have been shifted to hospitals in Kerala.
The Skymet chief Mahesh Palawat was quoted by CNN-News18 as saying, "Heavy showers will continue for next 12 hours as the cyclone moves towards Lakshadweep over the next 48 hours."
Meanwhile the weather forecasters have said that the cyclone Ockhi has turned to be very severe and is moving between Indian ocean and Arabian Sea towards Lakshadweep.
IMD's prediction over the weather in southern, eastern and western coasts of India are below:
Here are certain details over the intensifying Cyclone Ockhi:
8:10 pm IST: Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has instructed the state authorities to rehabilitate around 1100 to 18 relief camps in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.
7:41 pm IST: Post sanitising the area in Arabian Sea Navy says, less likelihood of stranded vessels off Vizhinjam.
7:35 pm IST: Referring to extremely heavy rains which might increase further in Tamil Nadu, S Balchandran, the Director of RMD on Friday evening said, "A well marked low pressure is lying over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood. It is expected to concentrate into a depression in the next 48 hours,"
7:30 pm IST: The Skymet weather has released their predictions for December 2 which shows rainfall in some other parts of India including Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana.
Heavy to extremely heavy rains are likely over #Lakshadweep Islands. Light to moderate with few heavy spells are expected ovr #Kerala and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands: https://t.co/JLPBmazf7Z #CycloneOckhi #Weather #Kerala #cyclonealert #TamilNadu #Ockhi #Cyclone #Kanyakumari— SkymetWeather (@SkymetWeather) December 1, 2017
7:17 pm IST: Two more National Disaster Response Force teams deployed in Cochin and Thrissur respectively.
6:59 pm IST: The severity of the cyclone has just gone up a notch as it turned to be very severe on Friday evening.
6:45 pm IST: The weather forecast by Skymet shows the cyclone Ockhi moving between east-southeast and west-northwest regions around India.
6:34 pm IST: Marataka Vel, a regional meteorological department's official told IBTimes India that the cyclone is intensifying inside the Indian Ocean and is likely to move towards southeast of Arabian Sea.
6:16 pm IST: The Kerala government has sought the help of Centre and has futrher asked for deployment of more aircrafts for quicker rescue as the cyclone Ockhi is heading towards the Lakshadweep Island.
6:15 pm IST: Top Navy officials have instructed people in the low lying areas of Lakshadweep to evacuate the region. The areas Kalpeni, Minicoy, Kavratti, Agatti, Androth, Kadamath and Amini islands are under threat of getting flodded. Meanwhile a Navy official said that "The people are beingh shifted to schools," PTI reported.
6:10 pm IST: The rescued fishermen have been brought to Trivandrum Air Force Station and later were shifted to hospital, ANI reported.
5:58 pm IST: The combined opeartions of Indian Navy, India Coast Guards and Indian Air Force rescued over 130 fishermen the Kerala coast. Thiruvananthapuram district commissioner K Vasuki said that, "The rescued fishermen included those who were saved by a Japanese cargo vessel. The vessel has rescued 60 fishermen from mid-sea. They are being brought to the Vizhinjam coast."
#HADR #CycloneOckhi #SAR Update at 1745h -Total 134 personnel rescued by IN, IAF & ICG utilising ships and aircraft.— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) December 1, 2017
This includes rescue of 37 people by IN ALH flying between Trivandrum & sea area where personnel are stranded.
IN ships Sagardhwani, Jamuna, Nireekshak in area.
5:46 pm IST: Meteorologist Mahesh Palawat has predicted that the Indian ocean region has witnessed two intense weather systems.
5:42 pm IST: The Indian Navy has been supplying relief material to the stranded people inside Arabian Sea. Here are few pictures of the supply operation.
5:16 pm IST: The Indian Air Forcer helicopters rescue stranded fishermen from the deep sea. Watch the video.
5:07 pm IST: Extremely heavy rains batter Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Heavy to extremely heavy rains are likely over #Lakshadweep Islands. Light to moderate with few heavy spells are expected over #Kerala and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands: https://t.co/JLPBmazf7Z #CycloneOckhi #Weather #Kerala #cyclonealert #TamilNadu #Ockhi #Cyclone #Kanyakumari— SkymetWeather (@SkymetWeather) December 1, 2017
5:05 pm IST: The Naval ships rescued 45 fishermen who were stranded in the deep sea due to the cyclone Ockhi.
4:55 pm IST: The coast guards rescued two fishing boats Arokia Mary and Hermen Mary which went missing from Kanyakumari coast on November 30.
4:40 pm IST: Over 160 families have been rehabilitated from the coastal areas of Kerala.
4:02 pm IST: Further updating on the search operation, the Indian Navy has informed that more number of ships are being deployed to locate and rescue fishermen from Lakhsadweep and Minicoy Islands.
IN ships Nireekshak, Jamuna & Sagardhwani continuing in area— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) December 1, 2017
IN Ships Sharda & Shardul also sailing out soon to augment search effort. Both ships in final stages of embarking HADR items for assistance at L&M Islands.
Coordination with ICG and State Admin ongoing 2/2
4:00 pm IST: The twitter handle of Indian Navy said that 16 survivors have been rescued by the help of air/surface units. The statement reads that around 40 are still stranded in the deep sea which is under high cyclonic waves.
#HADR #CycloneOckhi Update as of 3:15 PM -16 survivors picked up by air/surface units.— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) December 1, 2017
SAR effort progressing off Vizhinjam. Boeing P8i sights ~40 people stranded at sea.IN ac P8i, Dornier, Seaking42B, Seaking42C &ALH in area/under deployment 1/2 @SpokespersonMoD @nsitharaman
3:13 pm IST: A telecom company of Maldives said via a tweet that they have slashed the call rates from Sri Lanka to India in the wake of the cyclone Ockhi.
As Cyclone Ockhi rages through the region, we’ve reduced our call rates to India (MVR 0.99) and Sri Lanka (MVR 2) for this weekend so you can stay in touch with loved ones in the affected areas.— Dhiraagu (@Dhiraagu) December 1, 2017
2:57 pm IST: The Skymet weather announces high alert in Lakshadweep and Kerala.
2:40 pm IST: The Regional Meteorological Department (RMD )from Chennai confirmed to IBTimes India that the Cyclone Ockhi is crossing north-northeastwards from Kerala in the next 24 hours and it will shift north-northwestwards towards Gujarat in Arabian Sea in the next 48 hours.
MUST WATCH: Possible track of #CycloneOckhi #Weather #cyclone1 #Chennai #Chennairains #Kerala #cyclonealert #TamilNadu #Ockhi #Cyclone #Kanyakumari #Thiruvananthapuram #Lakshadweep @tnsdma @karthickselvaa @TamilGuardian @KeralaTourism @CMOKerala @SuryanFM @firstpost @htTweets pic.twitter.com/71fEOhi2TR— SkymetWeather (@SkymetWeather) December 1, 2017
2:30 pm IST: MoS Home Kiran Rijiju assures of rescue operations being undertaken in Kanyakumari and Kerala coast with the state administration. He also said that Lakshadweep is under our scanner in his tweet.
1:50 pm IST: MoS and MP Pon Radhakrishnan from Kanyakumari meets Union minister Kiren Rijiju seeking Centre's help in the crisis situation.
1:45 pm IST: The state authorities in Kerala have asked the tourists to stay away from popular beaches in Kerala like Kochi, folllowing the lashing waves which are hitting the coastal belt. Power cut in Tamil Nadu and Kerala due to the cyclonic wind which arrived in Kerala from Sri Lanka.
1:36 pm IST: The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) issues red warning in Lakshadweep Islands and alerts that Ockhi is likely to intensify further.
1:30 pm IST: Media reports said that the cyclone has claimed over 15 lives from Southern India and Sri Lanka combined. The disaster management officials were quoted by the FirstPost as saying that the cyclonic wind travelled around 130kmph and has killed seven in Sri Lanka and nine in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
1:02 pm IST: The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu E Palaniswamy has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5lakh to the families of the deceased in Kanyakumari.
12:10 pm IST: The Navy on Friday morning told to media that, Boeing P8I Aircraft has been deployed at first light from INS Rajali after sighting 7 survivors hanging on to a capsized boat — 25 miles West of Trivandrum. FirstPost quoted an Indian Navy official as saying, "Advanced Light Helicopter has dropped a life raft for 8 survivors at sea 20nm off Trivandrum and is picking up two critically injured survivors from MV Energy Orpheus. Naval Sea king helicopter being launched shortly to recover 8 survivors & additional search."
11:40 am IST: Cyclone Ockhi's eye has been traced 130 km southwest of Thiruvananthapuram and is shifting to Lakshadweep.
11:30 am IST: Major areas in Kerala including Tirunelveli, Manimutharu, and Kottaram received around 40cm rain in the last 24 hours, the IMD said. The state authorities have declared a high alert in Kerala and asked the people to come out only if necessary.
11:20 am IST: Skymet CEO in a live webcast said that the intensifying cyclone will have its affect on regions of Gujarat as well. Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat will receive light rains, he added. The prediction comes after the IMD has said that the cyclone will be moving north-northwestrwards.
11:15 an IST: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted that immediate help has been released for the rescue of fishermen in Kerala.
11:00 am IST: The search operation for the missing fishermen resumed Friday morning with the Navy deploying a Dornier and an Advanced light helicopter (ALH) with divers and 10 ships of the Indian Coast Guards (ICG) were deployed.
The ICG in a press release on Friday morning said that 13 of the fishermen who were missing have returned back while over 100 fishermen with 40 boats are still missing.
10:48 am IST: Friday morning observed the mourning relatives of the missing fishermen in Thiruvananthapuram who blamed the Kerala administration for not warning them of the cyclone.
10:40 am IST: Alerting the fishermen from entering the sea, the state authorities today launched helpline numbers via a control room which will function at the office of the Deputy Director of Fisheries, Ernakulam, and the Fisheries Station at Vypeen for the next 48 hours, the Hindu reported. The contact numbers are: Vypeen 0484-2502768; 9496007037; Marine Enforcement-9446091185; Fisheries Deputy Director, Ernakulam Zone 0484-2394476; 9496007029; 9447510676.
10:30 am IST:The rainfall caused waterlogging alongside Palayamkottai Road, WGC Road and VE Road in Thoothukudi distict of Tamil Nadu. Collector N. Venkatesh said that strong winds destroyed 11 huts, uprooted 27 trees and over 50 electric poles were left tilted at several locations in the district. However, there were no casualties.
Here's a video of waterlogged streets in Kerala and localities inundated in Nellai.
10:00 am IST: Speaking to IBTimes India, a videologist from the Chennai Meteorological Department said, "The cyclone Ockhi has been shifting west-northwestwards with a speed of about 17 kmph since Friday morning 0530 hours. The system is centered at Latitude 8.8°N and Longitude 74°E, around 105 km north-northeast of Minicoy and 280 km southeast of Amini Divi."
9:00 am IST: Schools remained closed in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam on Friday following the cyclone. In Tamil Nadu, the Sivaganga Collector G Latha declared schools from five taluks in Sivaganga education district to remain shut.
8:00 am IST: The heavy inflow of water in Kerala caused a rise in storage levels which rose up to six feet in Periyar dam and one foot in Vaigai dam due to heavy inflow. The inflow in Periyar dam was recorded as 16,022 cusecs and Vaigai dam as 2,507 cusecs.
7:30 am IST: Cyclone Ockhi brings rains to regions in Karnataka including Bengaluru. The IMD Bengaluru Director Sundar M Metri on Friday said, "There was a depression in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday that had intensified into a cyclonic storm (Ockhi). The skies over Bengaluru and across Karnataka will remain cloudy and might receive light rains due to the depression."
7:15 am IST: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issued Dos and Donts considering the heavy rainfall and gushing wind from Cyclone Ockhi. Here is the report: