Palaniswami urges PM Modi to ask navy to search for 9 missing TN fishermen
Tamil Nadu leader of opposition and former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, requesting him to order immediate search operation by the navy and air force to trace nine missing fishermen from the state, news agency ANI reported.
The fishermen went missing while fishing off the Kochi coast due to Cyclone Taukte. They belonged to Samnathanpettai in Nagapattinam district. The group ventured into the sea from Kochi on April 29 and while returning in the early hours of May 14, were caught in the storm and went missing.
Tamil Nadu fisheries minister Anitha R Radhakrishnan on Tuesday visited the families of the nine fishermen and handed over ₹50,000 to each member of the family as financial assistance.
Cyclone Tauktae unleashed waves of up to 7.6 metres as it moved along India's western coast before hitting the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat over the past two days. It left a trail of destruction that killed dozens of people, authorities said.
Among those killed are those present on an oilfield accommodation barge. With 261 people on board, the barge sank after the storm smashed into the Bombay High oilfield near Mumbai, where India's biggest offshore oil rigs are located.
The navy said 186 people have been rescued from the barge contracted to state-run energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of the damage in Gujarat and announced a financial package of ₹1,000 crore to carry out "immediate relief activities".
Cyclone Tauktae has weakened since making landfall in Gujarat on Monday with gusts of up to 210 kph (130 mph) and is expected to lose strength overnight, India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said.