Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday that at least 531 fishermen, stranded off the Kerala and the Lakshadweep coasts because of Cyclone Ockhi, have been rescued, PTI reported.
So far 393 people from Kerala and 138 fishermen from the Lakshadweep islands have been rescued, Vijayan said.
The Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard resumed their search for fishermen earlier on Saturday.
Vijayan also said his state government will give families of fishermen who died in the storm Rs 10 lakh as compensation, in addition to the financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh from the fisheries department.
The Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told ANI that Navy ships helped bring back six boats and 73 fishermen. “Search operations are underway as 33 boats and 95 fishermen are still missing,” he said.
By Saturday morning, the cyclone had moved over Lakshadweep Islands and the Arabian Sea. The storm is likely to intensify more and move further northwest across the other islands later in the day, the India Meteorological Department said. Over the next 48 hours, it is expected to move towards Gujarat and North Maharashtra.
Cyclone Ockhi is likely to remain a “severe cyclonic storm” until Monday morning, and heavy rain is expected over Lakshadweep islands, though rain has reduced in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Rain due to the cyclone has killed 16 people in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced Rs 4 lakh each to the relatives of the people killed in rain-related deaths. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced Rs 10 lakh for the families of those who died in his state, News18 reported.
On Saturday morning, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah offered to help the neighbouring states, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Palaniswami on Friday night and promised help.
A statement released by the Tamil Nadu government said that Palaniswami would soon seek central funds for the damage caused by Ockhi in the southern parts of the state, with Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts being the worst hit.