PM Modi has assured both the beleaguered fishing community and the Kerala government of prompt relief and rehabilitation assistance.

Central team to arrive in Kerala to assess cyclone Ockhi damage
news Cyclone Friday, December 22, 2017 - 18:15

A team of central officials will arrive Thiruvananthapuram on December 26 to make an assessment of the damages caused by cyclone Ockhi, officials said on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured both the beleaguered fishing community and the Kerala government of prompt relief and rehabilitation assistance.

According to informed state government sources, the central team is being led by Vipin Mallik, a top official in the Home department and consists of disaster management experts.

They are expected to go around the affected coastal villages in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam districts to see the damages.

Modi was here on Tuesday and visited a coastal hamlet and interacted with the fishing community and later witnessed a presentation made by the state government.

Following that, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought a Rs 7,340 crore relief package to mitigate the fisher folks' sufferings, which includes compensation for the 73 dead, assistance to permanently disabled, to those who suffered injuries besides construction of homes to those rendered homeless, educational assistance, writing off loans and other programmes meant for the overall uplift of the fisher folks in the state.

It was on November 30 that Ockhi struck the coasts of Kerala and it has left more than 70 fishermen from the southern districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam dead, while more than 250 of them are yet to be traced.

The Kerala government had blamed the Centre and the weather monitoring organisations for not timely conveying the onset of Ockhi.

The weather officials retorted saying warnings were given to the Kerala government on November 28 and at regular intervals.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had come under severe attack after he failed to make an immediate visit to the grieving fishermen families.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman flew down and visited the affected villages earlier. On December 14 Rahul Gandhi had visited fishermen families both in Thiruvananthapuram and at Kanyakumari.

(With IANS inputs)

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