Cyclone
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit the coastal villages that faced the brunt of Cyclone Ockhi on December 14.
  • Friday, December 08, 2017 - 07:40
Image Courtesy: PTI

Three more bodies were recovered in Kerala on Thursday, taking the death toll in cyclone Ockhi to 36 while 96 fishermen are still missing, official figures said.

Two bodies was recovered off Kozhikode by a joint search team and another one was found in the deep sea off Alappuzha.

Also, 15 fishermen were rescued by an Indian Air Force aircraft off the Kozhikode coast while 209 others are in various hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Congress-led opposition is bracing to take on the state government for what it says has been a callous attitude in handling the November 30 cyclone and its aftermath.

The Congress will make its views known at Friday's all-party meeting called by the government.

Addressing reporters here, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the government had made an "absolute mess" right from ignoring the series of cyclone warnings to executing a bad relief and rescue operation.

"It's really strange that an all-party meeting has been called tomorrow while the compensation measures have already been announced at yesterday's (Wednesday) cabinet meeting.

"Then what's the use of calling an all-party meeting? We are, however, taking part in it," he said. "The compensation package is too low. We want it to be increased."

Vijayan had on Wednesday announced a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the kin of those who died and Rs 5 lakh to the permanently disabled.

On Thursday, DNA tests began on 10 bodies kept at the state-run Medical College here. One body was handed over to relatives on Wednesday after the DNA test.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will on December 14 visit the coastal villages near the Kerala capital that faced the brunt of Cyclone Ockhi, in his first visit to south India after taking over as the party chief.

He was slated to be here on December 1 to take part in the valedictory function of Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala's state-wide yatra, but his visit was postponed due to bad weather due to the cyclone.

Gandhi will first visit the coastal villages at Vizhinjam and Poovar and then address a public meeting at the Central Stadium here, Chennithala told reporters here on Thursday.