Southern India In The “eye” Of The Storm
India's Southern region is the target of the Cyclone Ockhi, which has claimed human lives in Kerala and in the state of Tamil Nadu. The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rains in the southern Kerala & Tamil Nadu and has cautioned that the speed of the winds may reach up to 130 kmph over and around Lakshadweep during next 24 hours. It is worth noting that India's eastern coast, which includes the state capitals like Chennai (of Tamil Nadu) and Bhubaneswar (of Orissa) are prone to seasonal storms that are a source of damage between the months of April and December. Meteorological Department has issued “orange” alert regarding this first tropical storm of the season, which is affecting the areas of Southern Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep.
Owing to this Cyclone, more than 80 fisherman of the coastal villages of Kerala have gone missing. The Indian Navy has started rescue operations, has already saved more than 33 persons, and is in the process of rescuing many others from the sea. Many of the trains to and from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram (of Kerala) have been delayed, cancelled or rescheduled. The cyclone has also killed seven people and affected the lives of approximately 20,000 people, in the island nation of Sri Lanka.
As per the reports, Cyclone Ockhi may lead to cloudy weather accompanied with light rains in some parts of Maharashtra also. The private sector weather forecaster ‘Skymet’ has predicted that there might be light rains in Saurashtra and Kutch region of Gujarat owing to this cyclone. In both states of Kerala and Tamilnadu, several trees have been uprooted, vehicles damaged, houses demolished, power lines disrupted and normal life has been thrown into disarray due to this Cyclone.
The name Ockhi is given by Bangladesh and the word itself means “eye” in the Bengali language. Cyclone Ockhi developed when a deep depression in the south of Kanyakumari and the Western side of Sri Lanka intensified and turned into a violent Storm. As per the latest update, the cyclone is heading towards the Lakshadweep Islands and heavy showers are expected in both the coastal states as mentioned above. The State Government has advised people to remain indoors, the educational institutions have been shut due to extremely bad weather conditions and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along south Tamil Nadu coast (for the next 24 hours) and along the south Kerala coast (for the next 48 hours). Patrolling has been strengthened along the coastal areas and Police have advised visitors to stay away from the beach due to the safety reasons.
Indian Home Minister’s Office has announced that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have already been dispatched to the cyclone-affected areas. As per the news reports, five Indian Navy ships have been deployed from Kochi, while two ships are on standby in Lakshadweep, two Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ships each have been deployed from Kochi & Tuticorin, one P8I aircraft, Navy Dornier and Coast Guard Dornier are also airborne for search and rescue operations, while helicopters are on standby with divers.