Even as fisherfolk in Kanyakumari are waiting to hear back from the fishermen who ventured out to sea 10 days ago, heavy rains are expected in southern parts of Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Director of the Met Department S Balachandran said, “In a few places, heavy rains are likely today. Kanyakumari coast is likely to face strong winds up to 40- 50 kmph, reaching up to 60 kmph. Fishermen have been asked not to venture out to sea between 14 to 15. We have told fishermen not to go towards Kerala and Lakshwadeep coast between March 14 and 15."
Explaining the depression that has formed in the Arabian Sea, the Director said, “Around 8: 30 am today, a depression formed in the South West Arabian Sea, 130 km away from Minicoy Islands. In the next 24 hours, this will move north. Tomorrow, it will gradually move northwards and lose its intensity.”
With rains lashing Thoothukudi on Monday, skies were overcast in the region. “Over the past 24 hours, there have been heavy and very heavy rains in southern Tamil Nadu. In Thoothukudi, there has been 20 cm rainfall and 19 cm rainfall in Papanasam. Over the next two days, southern Tamil Nadu and interior districts in northern Tamil Nadu will get rains. Heavy rainfall is to be expected in south TN,” said the Director.
Schools and colleges were shut in many districts including Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari.
Between 40- 50 boats with approximately 200 fishermen were reported missing in Kanyakumari yesterday.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Revenue Minister for the state RB Udayakumar said “In Kanyakumari, 553 multi-day fishing boats went inside and so we could not reach them. 502 have been brought back safely due to the action taken by Fisheries Department. 15 boats from Ramanad have returned. 135 boats from Thoothukudi have returned. 51 boats are yet to return. 1074 motorized boats that went have all returned.”
One fisherman from Kanyakumari told TNM, “Around 500 of them went to sea ten days ago. 300 have anchored to shore on two islands in the Lakshwadeep, the Kalpeni and Kavaratti. We have not been able to contact the 200 missing fishermen since Saturday. They are in 40- 50 boats. On Saturday, we received warning from the Navy and Coast Guard asking us not to venture out to sea.”