Total number of deaths due to the cyclone has gone up to 16 while more than 500 fishermen have been rescued so far.

 Cyclonic storm Ockhi has moved away from Lakshadweep says CentreImage Courtesy: HADR
news Cyclone Monday, December 04, 2017 - 07:51

Cyclonic storm Ockhi has moved away from Lakshadweep islands and now about 1,000 km southwest of Gujarat's Surat, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.

It was likely to move in northeasterly direction and gradually weaken, he said, as per an official statement. 

"It is very unfortunate that still some fishermen from Kerala and south Tamil Nadu are missing and did not return home. Rescue operations are in full swing by Coast Guard and Indian Navy. I am sure with their efforts, missing fishermen will be saved and brought back home very soon," the statement quoted him as saying.

The storm, which was formed off Sri Lanka coast on November 27, moved along the Kerala and south Tamil Nadu coast largely affected Lakshadweep Islands.

The India Meteorological Department has started warnings for heavy rainfall and strong winds for Kerala and south Tamil Nadu from November 28 itself, it said.

Total number of deaths due to the cyclone has gone up to 16 while more than 500 fishermen have been rescued so far.

The fishermen had blocked traffic on Sunday to protest against the state government's failure in rising to the occasion of the tragedy in Kerala.

On Sunday evening, Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman arrived inThiruvananthapuram and left for Kanyakumari on a helicopter to visit the affected areas in south Tamil Nadu. She is expected to visit the affected areas in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Meanwhile the fisher community in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday decided to launch their own rescue operations as 55 boats ventured into the sea to search for the missing fishermen.

Rescue teams decided to step up their operations after a body in a highly decomposed state was recovered near the Vizhinjam coast earlier in the day. The boats, 40 from Poonthura and 15 from Vizhinjam, left the shores with food and water.

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