Nation is with you, PM Modi tells people affected by cyclone Ockhi
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Nation is with you, PM Modi tells people affected by cyclone Ockhi

More than 70 fishermen from the southern districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam died in Ockhi while more than 250 remain missing.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2017 22:53 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram / Chennai
Narendra Modi,Cyclone Ockhi,Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan receives PM Narendra Modi, who visited the southern state Tuesday to take stock of the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi.(Photo tweeted by: @PIB_India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday assured cyclone-affected families that his government is committed to alleviate their sufferings and will do everything possible to locate the missing fishermen.

Meeting aggrieved family members in Poonthura, a fishing hamlet on the outskirts of Kerala capital, the PM said the ongoing operation of joint forces will continue and the embassies of neighbouring countries have been alerted to help locate those who strayed into their waters.

“The nation is with you. We will do everything to address your woes. The rescue operation is still on and we will try our best to bring those missing before Christmas,” he said. He heard some of fishermen patiently even as Union tourism minister K J Alphons translated their complaints to him.

Striking a personal tone, the PM said his presence at the affected village was a testimony to the fact that the government was with the community at this juncture of loss and grief. “I am here to share your loss and suffering. The Centre will do everything to help you,” he said. Later he chaired a meeting with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleague at the state guest house.

On a whirlwind tour, the PM first visited Lakshadweep islands. Later he proceeded to Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu government has submitted memorandum seeking an aid of Rs 9,302 crore towards relief and rehabilitation and urged him to declare cyclone a “national disaster”.

The farmers of the region also met the PM and appraised him of the severe agrarian crisis in Tamil Nadu and delta region.

The cyclone that battered Tamil Nadu and Kerala on November 29 and had a landfall in Lakshadweep on December 2 claimed 85 lives — 71 in Kerala and 14 in Tamil Nadu. More than 600 fishermen are still missing.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 15:32 IST