Heavy rains lashed southern districts of Tamil Nadu on Friday, as cyclone Ockhi moved closer to Lakshadweep. Rescue efforts have been under full swing with the Defence Ministery sending in the air force and navy to aid operations.
Kanyakumari remains the worst affected district with the death toll rising to seven. 250 stranded families were rescued near Suchindram and residents of low lying areas have been evacuated. The District admistration also joined efforts to prevent waterlogging and to remove uprooted trees from public paths.
38 fishermen were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard based on coordinates given by the government. Fishermen have been advised to not venture into sea.
The Chief Minister further held a meeting with the Chief Secretary and top bureaucrats to assess the situation across the state.
"We have sent rescue personnel to all affected areas. They will take residents to relief centres and ensure all their needs are met with," said the Chief Minister.
He has further announced compensation of Rs.4 lakh for families of lives lost due to the cyclone. "We have sent 2000 workers to fix all the electricity poles that have fallen due to the cyclone," he added.
Officials had claimed that it will take a minimum of three days for electricity to be restored. Train services have also been disrupted in the Kanyakumar-Nagercoil section.
According to the MET department - Nilgiris, Theni, Coimbatore and Dindigul districts will continue to witness heavy rains. Puducherry will also by subjected to rainfall while Chennai will witness rains in regular intervals.
â€śOckhi cyclone intensified into severe cyclone and lies at about 110 km northeast of Minicoy (island) and it is likely to cross Lakshadweep arch during the next 24 hours,â€ť the India Meteorological Department said in its bulletin.
Gale winds speed reaching 110-120kmph gusting to 130kmph are likely near Lakshadweep.