The cyclone Ockhi reached closer to the Lakshadweep islands late Friday, as strong winds struck the southernmost islands of Minicoy and Kalpeni. The storm is likely to intensify more and move further northwest across the other islands later in the day, the India Meteorological Department said.

Rain due to the cyclone has killed 16 people in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, News18 reported.

Heavy rain is expected over Lakshadweep and some places in Kerala in the next 24 hours. Low lying areas of Lakshadweep are expected to get inundated with water levels of 1 metre more than the tide level, the IMD said. Heavy winds had hit the Kalpeni island on Friday, and people were moved to relief camps, Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal told Scroll.in earlier.

The system is likely to remain a “severe cyclonic storm” until Monday morning.

Photos from the Minicoy island:

Credit: Abida and others
Credit: Abida and others
Credit: Abida and others
Credit: Abida and others
Credit: Abida and others
Credit: Abida and others
Credit: Abida and others
Credit: Abida and others

The Navy and the Coast Guard are conducting search and rescue operations for fishermen stranded at sea. The joint effort rescued around 214 fishermen from the sea by Friday night, while a Japanese ship rescued another 60 fishermen.

Around 1,044 people stranded in flooded parts of Kanyakumari have been rescued and lodged in 16 temporary shelters, India Today reported.

Indian Navy rescuing fishermen. (PTI Photo)
Indian Navy rescuing fishermen. (PTI Photo)