Cyclone Ockhi: Precautionary holiday declared for schools in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar

Relief work Residents being rescued from a flooded neighbourhood at Suchindram in Kanyakumari district on Friday

Around 240 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, 250 from Kerala and 1,047 people in Lakshadweep have been rescued till now from the seas in searches after Cyclone Ockhi hit the coasts, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) said.

Navy and air force helicopters flew repeated sorties to save the fishermen, who rappelled up ropes from their boats. IMD also predicted that the sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts from today, with damage expected over south Gujarat, which mainly comprises of Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir- Somnath and Bhavnagar districts.

Kannanthanam, in the presence of Vijayan, earlier had stated that the state had received the cyclone alert only on 30 November and a clear prior warning had not been issued before that.

"We have received a memorandum from the state government requesting to declare the cyclone as a national calamity. The rescue efforts will continue", Mr Kannanathanam said. She assured them that their demand for including local fishermen in the rescue operations would be accepted. The state could have warned fishermen on the deep depression, Mr Kannanthanam said. The Union Minister later visited nearby Poonthura, a coastal hamlet where fishermen are protesting alleging delay in rescue.

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On Sunday, 17 fishermen were rescued after spending five days in the sea off the Kerala coast, which was battered by strong winds and heavy rainfall under the influence of the cyclone. The meeting was also attended by the officials of Ministry of Home Affairs, National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Defence, Indian Navy, India Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Meteorological Department, etc.

Many rescued fishermen have been admitted to the medical college here and general hospitals since they were weak after being in the sea for the last 48 hours, the official said. Coast Guard ships were also engaged in rescue efforts. "Sea conditions would be "rough" to "very rough" along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts on 4th night and December 5", Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted on Sunday.

While four deaths were reported in Tamil Nadu, four people were killed in Kerala.

While the coast guard saved 71 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 114 from Kerala, merchant vessels and trawlers saved 36 off the coast of Kerala and Lakshwadeep islands.

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