natural disaster

Cyclone Ockhi: Kerala promises quick financial aid, to continue search for missing fishermen

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he will ask the Centre for Rs 1,843 crore for work to repair the damage caused by the storm.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday promised quick financial aid to the families of fishermen killed and injured after Cyclone Ockhi battered the state two weeks ago, The Hindu reported.

Vijayan also said he will ask the Centre for Rs 1,843 crore to rebuild and repair the structures damaged by the storm.

“This was one of the worst disasters that struck the state,” Vijayan told the media after a weekly Cabinet meeting, news agencies reported. “The Centre has been very supportive in all aspects.”

The Kerala government has promised Rs 20 lakh to the families of those killed in the cyclone, Rs 5 lakh for seriously injured fishermen who will not be able to go out into the sea, and Rs 20,000 each to fishermen with minor injuries, according to The Hindu. No victim will be left out of the assistance package, Vijayan said.

Members of the Kerala Cabinet said they will contribute a month’s salary towards the Ockhi Cyclone Relief Fund, ANI reported.

Search still on, toll rises

At least 58 people died because of Cyclone Ockhi. The toll has been rising as more bodies are being recovered from the high seas, the Hindustan Times reported. The Coast Guard and Marine Enforcement agencies conducting searches off the coast of Kozhikode and Kochi recovered five bodies on Wednesday.

With at least 94 people still missing, the Kerala government said it will continue search operations. “Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called me, and we have agreed to continue the search operations,” the chief minister said.

The cyclone hit the southern coast on November 30, after which it travelled north over the next few days. The storm affected Tamil Nadu and Kerala the worst.

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