Ockhi intensifies into severe cyclone; to hit Lakshadweep

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Chennai, 01 Dec 2017: Cyclone Ockhi intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved to the Arabian Sea on Friday even as the navy rescued eight fishermen caught in choppy waters and intensified search for 30 others missing.


Rain, which left eight people dead, including four each in Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Thursday, continued to lash parts of the two states. A defence spokesperson on Friday said 13 boats with 38 crew from Kerala and one boat from Tamil Nadu with four persons onboard were missing. A navy aircraft rescued eight of them.


"The fishermen were found floating in water by Advance Light Helicopter," the spokesperson said. The weather department said Kanyakumari, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts in Tamil Nadu received rains for the third day on Friday though the cyclone threat mitigated as the system, lying 70 km south of Kanyakumari on Thursday, moved to the Arabian sea.


"Ockhi cyclone intensif a ed 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," the India Meteorological Department said in a bulletin on Friday morning.


Gale winds speed reaching 110-120 kmph gusting to 130 kmph are very likely over and around Lakshadweep during next 24 hours. Squally wind conditions would prevail along and off Kerala and Karnataka coast.


It forecast rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy at a few places and isolated extremely heavy fall (more than 20 cm) over Lakshadweep area during the next 24 hours. Rainfall at many places with heavy rainfall at isolated places is very likely over Kerala during next 24 hours.


With rain continuing to hit normal life in south Tamil Nadu, a holiday was declared for schools and colleges in five districts, including Kanyakumari, which bore the brunt on Thursday.


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