Thousands of fisherpeople carried out a protest march to Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, demanding a coordinated effort to locate fisherpeople who were reported missing due to Cyclone Ockhi, PTI reported. They also demanded a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the areas in Kerala affected by the storm.

Latin Catholic Church Head Archbishop Soosai Pakiyam, who led the march, told the gathering that the state authorities were “unable to come out with the exact number of fishermen missing in the cyclone.” He said the Kerala fisheries department, marine enforcement and coast guard should search for the missing people in a collaborated operation.

The Latin Church says at least 300 fisherpeople are still missing, while the official figure is 95.

The fisherpeople waved black flags and photographs of the dead on their way from Palayam area of Thiruvanthapuram to the Raj Bhavan. They demanded that the Centre declare Cyclone Ockhi a national disaster.

Toll rises

The toll due to the cyclone rose to 42 on Monday, after two bodies were found about 100-150 nautical miles from the shore between Vizhinjam and Kochi cities, PTI reported.