Cyclone Ockhi dissipates before hitting Gujarat coast, Surat receives light rain | Highlights | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Cyclone Ockhi dissipates before hitting Gujarat coast, Surat receives light rain | Highlights

The India Meteorological Department says Cyclone Ockhi has weakened into a depression and will bring light to moderate rain in several parts of Gujarat for the next three days.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2017 16:41 IST
HT Correspondent
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Children run from high tide caused by cyclone Ockhi at Worli Seaface in Mumbai. (Kunal Patil / HT Photo)

Kerala and Tamil Nadu on Wednesday announced a slew of relief measures for those affected by Cyclone Ockhi that battered the coastal areas of the southern states last week, flooding large swathes of farmland and ripping apart thousands of homes.

Government officials have said that 33,000 people in Kerala and 2,800 in Tamil Nadu have been affected by the cyclone so far. The Centre said 39 people have lost their lives and another 167 are missing after Cyclone Ockhi engulfed parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Multiple rescue operations are being conducted across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep where authorities are also trying to locate the missing people.

Below are the highlights

2.15pm: Tamil Nadu government will provide relief worth Rs 41 lakh to houses that have suffered full and partial damage. A government release quoting revenue secretary B Chandramohan said 1,687 houses had been damaged completely while 2,814 houses suffered partial damage.

2.10pm: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there was no advance warning about Cyclone Ockhi. “There was no advance information about Cyclone Ockhi at all. On November 30, at 8.30 a.m. the India Meteorological Department intimated about a very deep deep depression about 170 km off Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) coast. Even at that time, there was no mention of cyclone. And by that time fishermen had already ventured into the sea,” he said.

1.13pm: As per a morning release by the India Meteorological Department, the cyclonic storm first turned into a ‘deep depression’, then into a ‘depression’ and finally into a ‘low pressure’ area after midnight. “The depression over east-central and adjoining north-east Arabian Sea weakened into a well-marked low pressure area over east central Arabian sea and adjoining areas of north-east Arabian Sea, north coastal Maharashtra and south coastal Gujarat at 23:30 hours yesterday.” the release said. The cyclone dissipated over the sea before hitting the Gujarat coast, said Jayanta Sarkar, the director of the MeT Centre.

10.06am: Kochi: Three fishermen from Tamil Nadu and two from Kerala will join rescue operations for three days on board INS Kalpeni.

9.30am: The India Meteorological Department said late on Tuesday that the cyclone was likely to bring rain over the next three days. The IMD said the cyclone dissipated due to “unfavourable environmental conditions.”

9.20am: Ten ships continue to be deployed for search and rescue operations in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi, the Indian Navy said late on Tuesday.

9.15am:

9.13am: Surat received light rain in the early hours of Wednesday.

UPDATES FROM TUESDAY:

11: 48 pm: IMD says Cyclone Ockhi may not hit Gujarat coast

Cyclone Ockhi is gradually weakening into a depression and may not hit the Gujarat coast near Surat as predicted earlier, the Meteorological Centre said.

Cyclonic storm Ockhi has already turned into a “deep depression” and may hit south Gujarat only as a “depression” late tonight, according to an official statement

11: 19 pm: Govt warning on rise in rivers in Maha, Gujarat

The government issued an advisory in view of Cyclone ‘Ockhi’, warning of a “rapid” rise in the water level of rivers in parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The water resources ministry asked authorities in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha to ensure “sufficient vigil” in coastal areas for the next three days as the path of a depression developing in the Bay of Bengal “is not yet well- established”.

9: 59 pm: A Coast Guard ship, ICGS Samrat, locates 15 boats off Lakshadweep and provided assistance to 184 fishermen on board, as part of its Cyclone Ockhi relief operations.

9:19 pm: Downpour in Rajasthan and Madya Pradesh due to impact of Cyclone Ockhi.

9:17 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally in Surat on Wednesday has been postponed in view of Cyclone Ochki, party leaders said.

8.15 pm: Local fishermen to join naval teams in search operations

INS Kabra, presently involved in search and rescue operations off Kollam, will take on board local fishermen on Tuesday at Kollam port for carrying out guided search operations, based on specific inputs provided by these fishermen, a defence release said.

8.02 pm: Cyclone Ockhi is around 350 km south-southwest of Surat, expected to cross tonight. It is showing sign of decreasing in intensity, said IMD Ahmedabad director.

IMD has issued heavy rainfall alert in coastal districts only for tonight, wind speed expected to be around 65-70 kmph when cyclone cross.

8 pm: Health minister JP Nadda said he has spoken to health ministers of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat regarding Cyclone Ockhi.

“Have assured them that all support will be extended by the Centre, in terms of medicines and medical teams,” he said.

7. 54pm: 14 more fishermen from Kerala were rescued.

While search and rescue operations by the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and others are based off the Kochi coast, these fishermen were found near the Lakshadweep Islands.

7:50pm: Cyclone Ockhi passes Mumbai coast , bringing rains but causing no damage to life or property.

7: 44 pm: Goa govt to assess damage of cyclone-hit shacks for payout

The Goa government said that the owners of the shacks that were hit by high tides caused by cyclone Ockhi, would be given compensation only after a comprehensive assessment of the damage is carried out.

7:40 pm: Rains and high velocity winds lash Surat, Rajkot and Valsad, says Skymet.

7: 30: Election Commission asked Chief Electoral Officer Gujarat to prepare contingency plan in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi and to ensure that those affected and rehabilitated should be able to vote. (Read full story here)

7:20 pm: Schools will remain closed in the southern Gujarat on Wednesday.

The Coast Guard has called back around 13,000 fishing boats that ventured into the seas on Monday evening.

7:03 pm: Cyclone ‘Ockhi’ expected to have low impact in Gujarat: MHA

The IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall in most places with heavy rainfall at isolated places in Saurashtra and south Gujarat.

“The cyclone is not expected to have high impact in Gujarat’s coastal areas. There is possibility of moderate to heavy rain tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) morning with wind speed around 50-70 km/hour,” a home ministry official said.

Joint Secretary in the Union home ministry Sanjeev Kumar Jindal said the cyclone is slowing down and would have no impact in Gujarat.

6.55 pm: Due to unfavourable conditions, Cyclone Ockhi may degenerate before reaching Gujarat coast, said Mahesh Palawat of Skymet- a private forecasting agency.

6. 44 pm: Madras HC directs TN govt to provide adequate amenities to cyclone-affected

The Madras high court directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide adequate basic amenities to those affected by cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district.

The bench directed the government officials to provide adequate medicines, electricity and water for the people and also all basic amenities in camps.

6.30 pm:

6.15 pm: Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy has urged external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to intervene and secure release of 10 fishermen of Karaikal region, taken into custody by the Sri Lanka navy for allegedly entering their waters when cyclone Ockhi struck.

5.57 pm: 39 dead, 167 fishermen missing in Tamil Nadu, Kerala

As many as 39 people have perished and 167 fishermen were still missing after cyclone Ockhi hit Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts while 809 others were swept away to Maharashtra, the Union home ministry said.

As of now, 10 people lost their lives in Tamil Nadu and 29 others in Kerala. Even though the exact number of missing persons were not known, as per available information, whereabouts of 74 fishermen in Tamil Nadu and 93 fishermen in Kerala is not known yet,” Joint Secretary in the ministry, Sanjeev Kumar Jindal, said.

A total of 556 fishermen were also rescued by relief and rescue teams from seas.

5.39 pm:

5.29 pm: 12 beaches affected by sea water in Goa

Twelve beaches in Goa have been affected by the rising sea level caused by Cyclone Ockhi, revenue minister Rohan Khaunte said.

The affected beaches are in Varca, Cavellossim, Utorda, Benaulim, Betalbatim, Sernabatim, Arambol, Mandrem, Morjim, Keri, Candolim and Anjuna.

5.45 pm: It (Cyclone Ockhi) is very likely to continue to move north- northwestwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by the night of December 5,” said the latest IMD bulletin.

5.17 pm: Seven teams of NDRF deployed at Surat, Navsari, Amreli, Valsad, Bhavnagar and Somnath in Gujarat.

4.30 pm: Rallies of Rahul Gandhi, Adityanath cancelled in Gujarat

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi held a poll rally in Anjar but cancelled three in Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar due to the impending cyclone.

BJP MP Manoj Tiwari’s roadshow in Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad was also cancelled.

The BJP has also called off rallies and press conferences of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Surat. (Read full story here)

4.27 pm: People in Surat advised not to go out at night

“It’s likely to rain today. There will be strong winds. People have been advised to not go out at night. Those living in kachha houses will be given shelter. The NDRF is on alert. Municipality and local bodies are working on their level.” said Surat district magistrate Mahendra Patel.

3.13pm: ANI reports a boat from Raigarh with four people on board has gone missing. Rescue agencies are trying to establish contact.

3.00pm: Kerala govt cancels inaugural gala of IFFK

In the wake of cyclone Ockhi, the Kerala government has cancelled the inaugural ceremony of the International Film Festival of Kerala, scheduled to begin in Thiruvananthapuram on December 8.

Organiser Kerala Chalachitra Academy said a decision was taken to call off the official inauguration and associated events, as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in the disaster.

The screening of the films will, however, proceed as per the plans.

2.39pm: Search intensified to find 92 missing fishermen

The Kerala government said intensified search and rescue operations are on to trace the 92 fishermen missing in high seas after Cyclone Ockhi hit the state’s coast on November 29.

State Minister for Fisheries Mercykutty said, “Officially 92 fishermen are still missing... Rescue work is going with more intensity and by widening the area for search.” However, local people have put the number of missing persons as more than 100.

On Monday, Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited cyclone-hit areas in Thiruvananthapuram and asserted that rescue operations would continue till every missing fishermen was brought back safely.

2.21pm: Cyclone Ockhi moves closer to Gujarat

Cyclone Ockhi has moved closer to the southern coast near Surat in Gujarat and is expected to make a landfall in the state around midnight, Met officials said in their latest bulletin. As per the latest forecast released by the Meteorological Centre in Ahmedabad, the cyclone is now just 390 kms away from Surat.

2.15pm: NDMA’s update on Ockhi

The NDMA says that the severe cyclonic storm ‘OCKHI’ over east-central Arabian Sea has moved further north-northeastwards during the past 6 hours and has weakened into a cyclonic storm.

Squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph are very likely along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts during the next 24 hours.

2.05pm: NDMA’s advisory to fishermen

The National Disaster Management Authority has asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out in the sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to Cyclone Ockhi.

Fishermen along and off Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts should not venture into sea from December 6 to 8 while fishermen along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands are advised not to venture into sea till Wednesday.

Fishermen living along and off South Gujarat and North Maharashtra coasts are advised not to venture into the sea till Wednesday morning.

1.41pm: Mumbai update | Minimum temperature in the city dropped to 20 degrees Celsius.

On Tuesday, the Arabian Sea recorded a high tide of 5.04 metres. It is expected to be 5.05 metres on Wednesday , gradually receding to 4.17 metres by Thursday, a BMC official told PTI.

As of now, all incoming and outgoing flights at Mumbai Airport are being operated on schedule and local trains continue to ply unhindered.

1.40pm: Ockhi’s landfall in Gujarat

Ockhi is expected to make landfall near the diamond and textile city of Surat in Gujarat later in the night on Tuesday.

1.37pm: Danger signals LC-III have been hoisted over all ports between Goa to Dahanu (north Maharashtra), with rough to very rough conditions at sea.

Arabian Sea waves of 4.35 meters height entered a slum near the seashore at Bandstand in Bandra, Mumbai due to cyclone Okhi on December 5, 2017. (Satyabrata Tripathy/ Hindustan Times)

1.31pm: Goa assesses damage from Cyclone Ockhi

The office of North Goa’s district magistrate has done a preliminary assessment of the damage caused in Pernem and Bardez talukas, where several prominent beaches, including Morjim, Arambol, Candolim, Baga and Calangute, are located, an official release said on Tuesday.

The report says there was no danger caused to human life but there was considerable damage caused to around 50 shacks in Morjim, Mandrem, Arambol and Querim beaches in Pernem taluka.

North Goa’s District Magistrate Nila Mohanan has sent a report to the state government on the damages caused and recommended to include ‘sea ingress due to rise in high tide levels’ in the list of disasters, so that compensation can be released to the affected shack owners, the release said.

12.57pm: Surat DM Mahendra Patel says it’s likely to rain in the city today. “There will be strong winds. People have been advised not to go out at night. Those living in kachha houses will be given shelter. NDRF is on alert. Municipality and local bodies are working on their level,” he told ANI.

12.41pm: Disaster relief for people in Lakshadweep

Relief material, carried on Indian Navy ships, reached the island of Minicoy on Sunday and the Kavaratti and Kalpeni islands on Monday, a defence mnistry spokesperson said.

“A total of four tonnes of disaster relief material, including dry provisions like rice, dal, salt and potatoes, water, blankets, raincoats, disposable clothes, mosquito nets and dhurries, has been handed over to the local administration,” the spokesperson said.

Dry provisions and ready to eat meals are also being dispatched to Bitra Island by chopper from the INS Dweeprakshak (base) at Kavaratti.The relief material will last seven days for about 2,000 people, he added.

12.38pm: A high tide of 4.22 metre is expected near Mumbai at 12:39 pm

12.35pm: Mumbai Police assures commuters that the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is functional.

11.32am: Cyclone Ockhi less than 300km off Mumbai’s coast; city sees heavy rain, traffic snarls

Heavy showers were reported from various parts of the island city as well as the suburbs. Areas such as Mahalaxmi, Worli and Sion have been experiencing rain, as have low-lying areas such as Parel, Mahalaxmi, Lalbaug and Kurla, among others. The civic body has issued warning to people to stay away from the seashore as high tide levels will be high than usual, touching five metres. Read full story

11.29am: According to IMD, the cyclone is 300 kms west of Mumbai’s coast. It is likely to continue to move North-North Eastward and weaken gradually.

11.25am: The Mumbai centre of IMD has urged the fisherman working on the Maharashtra-Goa coasts to not venture in the sea for the next 48 hours. A statement issued by the IMD advised the fishermen to return back to the coast.

11.14am: Weather forecast for Mumbai

“Intermittent rain/thundershowers very likely to occur in Mumbai and suburbs in next 24 hours,” said a report of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Mumbai at 8 am.

“Heavy rainfall is likely at a few places with squally wind speed reaching 50 to 60 kms per hour gusting to 70 kms per hour very likely along coastal area in next 24 hours,” it further said.

11.10am: Train update for Mumbai | Western Railways says its local train services in Mumbai are running as normal.

11.05am: Traffic update for Mumbai | The traffic on Eastern and Western Express Highways in Mumbai has slowed down after rain in some parts of Mumbai throughout Monday night. There are traffic curbs in some places in view of the rush of followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on his death anniversary on Wednesday.

11.00am: Amit Shah’s rallies cancelled

BJP president Amit Shah’s public rallies in Rajula, Mahuva and Shihor in Gujarat have been cancelled due to Cyclone Ockhi, ANI reported.

10.03am: BMC’s warning for Mumbai

The BMC issued a separate warning for the city from Monday to Thursday (December 4-7) wherein an alert was raised for people living close to the sea, specifically Shivaji Park, Dadar areas and Cadell Road, Mahim. “Owing to the warnings related to cyclone Ockhi, there will be increased wave action in these regions and water might come onto the promenade areas and onto the road. On December 6, Ambedkar Jayanti, a huge crowd is expected at Shivaji Park, Dadar. They will need to take precautions and avoid going close to the sea,” read the BMC warning.

9.39pm: Cyclone Ockhi effect: Mumbai gets highest 24-hour December rain in a decade

The city recorded its highest 24-hour December rain in a decade after unseasonal showers lashed Mumbai on Monday, as a result of cyclone Ockhi in the Arabian Sea. The city recorded rainfall in December for the first time since 2014. Read full story

9.34pm: In Mumbai, roads leading to Dadar Chowpatty have been closed as precautionary measure.

9.30am: Heavy rainfall alert for Mumbai, but Doppler radar is dysfunctional

The radar located at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Colaba can carry out weather surveillance at a distance of 300km radius from its location. The radar provides long-range weather surveillance, detection and forecast for rainfall, cloud formation, thunderstorms and other weather conditions such as tropical storms. IMD officials said the dysfunctional radar would not affect weather predictions. Read full story

Maharashtra prepares

Maharashtra went on a state of high alert to tackle the side-effect of the stormy weather. State Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced a “precautionary holiday’ on Tuesday (December 5) for all schools in the coastal districts of Palghar, Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, in view of the predictions for the cyclone.

Mumbai Disaster Management unit of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued an advisory against visiting the beaches Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Western Railway (WR) said it has taken necessary precautions and made suitable arrangements in view of the warning about the cyclone. The WR’s engineering control has been kept on alert to keep a watch on water level over railway tracks

Aftermath in Tamil Nadu and Kerala

The death toll climbed to 28 in Kerala after a rescue team recovered two more bodies on Monday and officials said at least 90 people were still missing in the state. The Kerala government said a total of 530 fishermen have been rescued and 50 still untraced.

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday said a total of 2,604 fishermen out of the 2,864 caught in the cyclone Ockhi had been rescued and search for the remaining 260 was on.

Rescue operations continue

The central government has deployed 10 Coast Guard ships, 6 aircraft, 4 helicopters, 10 Navy ships for rescue and relief off the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Lakshadweep and Minicoy.