A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal intensified into cyclone Ockhi in the Comorin area, about 70 km south of Kanyakumari district, on Thursday morning.
More than 500 trees have fallen in the district, reportedly claiming the lives of at least four persons in the Rajamangalam, Eathamozhi and Vellichandai areas.
People living in low -lying areas have been shifted to shelters. The Collector has asked residents to stay indoors and also requested fishermen not to venture into the sea.
Sajjan Singh R Chavan, Kanyakumari Collector, said that people from low-lying areas have been shifted to shelters.
He also dismissed rumours calling the cyclone a tsunami.
â€śBecause of the cyclone, the wave height has been higher. We have already clarified that it is not a tsunami as some rumours doing the rounds suggested. We have already told fishermen not to venture into the sea. We have evacuated people from low-lying areas into shelters and also asked people not to leave their homes,â€ť he said.
He added that more than 500 trees have fallen or been uprooted due to the cyclone.
The state disaster management agency tweeted that the district administration has been swiftly clearing major roads.
Many cell towers have also fallen in the district due to the heavy rains and strong winds.
Revenue Minister RB Udayakumar reached Kanyakumari district on Thursday and will be supervising the rescue operation in the region.
Two NDRF teams consisting of 65 members are on their way to Kanyakumari from Chennai. NDRF teams from Kochi will be moved if necessary.
Ramanathapuram district collector Natarajan has asked government officers to continue working for the next 24 hours.
â€śBoats of fishermen have been protected and the fishermen living near the sea have be evacuated to a safer place. Cyclone shelters have been prepared and the facilities required there have also been provided. Government officers are supposed to be in their offices and work for the next 24 hours,â€ť he said.
The cyclone will be moving towards West towards Lakshwadeep, Balachandran, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, told the media. The windspeed will be between 65km to 75km in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
The southern districts of Kanyakumari, Nellai, Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar will be receiving heavy rains for next 24 hours. Districts including Theni, Dindigul, Coimbatore and Nilgiris, and the delta region districts of Thanjavur and Pudukottai are also expected to receive rainfall, he said.
However, according to weather blogger Pradeep John, the cyclone will not hit land and will instead move towards the Bay of Bengal. â€śThe cyclone was very near to Kanyakumari, that is why so many trees have fallen and electricity has been cut off. But it will not touch land. It will move into the sea. It has already moved away and the showers will decrease by evening,â€ť he said.
Chennai is also expected to get rains for the next 24 hours.
In the last 24 hours, Chennai and Kanyakumari have received about 6cm of rainfall. Vallam in Thanjavur and Puducherry have received 7cm of rain and other districts like Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Nagercoil, Chembarambakkam, Sengottai and Arakonnam have received 4cm of rainfall.
IMD predictions for December 1
â™¦ Heavy to very heavy rain very likely at a few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places over Lakshadweep; heavy to very heavy rain very likely at isolated places over Andaman & Nicobar Islands and heavy rain at isolated places over interior Tamilnadu and Kerala.
â™¦ Gale wind speed reaching 80Â90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph very likely over & around Lakshadweep Islands.
â™¦ Squally winds speed reaching 55Â65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph very likely along and off Kerala coast and speed reaching 30Â40 kmph gusting to 50 kmph very likely around Andaman & Nicobar Islands and adjoining Seas.
â™¦ Sea conditions very likely to be very rough to high along and off south Kerala and high around Lakshadweep Islands.
â™¦ Fishermen are advised not to venture into Sea along and off Kerala coast and around Lakshadweep Islands and are advised to be cautious while venturing into Sea around Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
â™¦ Dense to very dense fog at isolated places very likely over Assam & Meghalaya and Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura.