Holiday declared in 5 districts in Tamil Nadu

Cyclone Ockhi Navy Coast Guard save 33 Kerala fishermen

The name Ockhi, given by Bangladesh, is expected to move further north-westward towards Lakshwadeep, he said. P8I aircraft, Navy Dornier and Coast Guard Dornier also airborne for search and rescue.

5 Navy ships have been deployed from Kochi, two ships are on standby in Lakshadweep.

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted; "Some 450 Kerala fishermen on 80 boats missing at sea since last night". The Navy has deployed ships for search and rescue operations. A couple - Appu Nadar, 73, and Sumathi, 68 - also died due to the cyclone.

Besides Chennai, the authorities have closed schools Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Madurai, Theni, Thanjavur and Thiruvarur for the day.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has already issued an alert of heavy to very heavy rainfall in both the states. "Yesterdays's depression escalated into deep depression early this morning and further intensified into cyclonic storm at 8.30 am and lies at about 70 km south of Kanyakumari", Director, Regional Meteorological Centre, S Balachandran said. In many places, strong winds also caused trees to be uprooted damaging houses and vehicles.

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Heavy winds with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely along and off Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai coasts.

The unprecedented rain and cyclone has pushed the southern part of Kerala into disarray as at least four people have lost their lives in three different incidents.

Meanwhile, fishermen in coastal regions in southern parts of the two states have been advised not to venture into the sea for the next 24 hours.

Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph very likely along & off South Kerala during next 48 hours and along & off south Tamilnadu during next 24 hours.

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