Heavy rain and strong winds claimed three lives and inflicted widespread destruction in several parts of the Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram as Cyclone Ochki hit the state on Thursday. Normal life was thrown out of gear and the city administration was on its toes.
The death toll due to the cyclone stands at 4 in Kerala. One of the dead has been identified as a 65-year-old woman, Alphonsamma of Vizhinjam, who was killed after an uprooted tree fell on her near the KSRTC depot at Vizhinjam around 11 a.m. A couple - Appu Nadar, 73, and Sumathi, 68 – also died due to the cyclone. The couple were electrocuted around 3.30 p.m. when they came in contact with a snapped live electric wire, reports The Hindu.
Around 15 houses were damaged and the residents were evacuated by the police and the Fire and Rescue Services. The shutters of the Neyyar, Peppara, and Aruvikkara dams were raised to eight feet, their maximum limit, as water level neared their capacities.
Several fishermen were caught in the high seas by the time the district administration issued warning of rough weather.
According to the latest reports, as many as 270 fishermen and 62 fishing boats have gone missing from Thiruvananthapuram. Around 28 fishing vessels from Poonthura harbor and six boats from the Kollam coast are stranded in the sea. Twelve fishermen from Cherthala are also reported to be missing.
Manorama News reported that a larger boat that had rescued around 15 stranded fishermen was unable to come to the Thiruvananthapuram shores due to the turbulent sea and was moving towards the Kollam coast.
Meanwhile Defence PRO Dhanya Sanal K confirmed that four ships of Indian Navy and 2 ships of Indian Coast Guard have already been deployed for the rescue operations. Coast Guard's Helicopter was expected to operate from Alleppey by the early hours of Friday.
Sabarimala pilgrims were advised not to climb the hill after 6pm on Thursday night following heavy rains. The restrictions were till 7am on Friday. The police also directed the pilgrims not to go for a dip in Pamba and Achankovil rivers after water levels rose following heavy rains, reports TOI.
The report added that Kerala can expect heavy winds that can reach up to speeds of 85 kmph along South Kerala coast. Kerala coast can also expect waves that can reach up to a height of 5.4 meters along the Kerala coast till December 2nd.
The Kerala coast can also expect heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places on December 1. The Met department has also warned of a storm surge of half-a-meter above astronomical tides which could inundate low-lying areas of coastal districts of south Kerala.
According to the latest reports the search operation is underway for the missing fishermen. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the district collectors to ensure close coordination between various government departments in carrying out rescue work