Cyclone Ockhi: 600 fishermen rescued, 19 reported dead

Cyclone Ockhi Rajnath speaks Tamil Nadu Kerala CMs

The remarks came as 32 fishermen, including 11 from Thiruvananthapuram district, were rescued off the Kochi coast on the fifth day.

"So I will not lose hope even for a minute".

The weather department had also asked fishermen from Maharashtra and south Gujarat to not venture into the sea and asked citizens to brace for rain, thundershowers, and strong winds over the next two days.

Surendran said that the joint rescue operations were going on "and as of now 85 more of the fishermen have to be traced and it has been made a decision to include the local fishing populace" in the effort.

"We want to make sure that each and every fishermen who had gone from Kerala comes back safely", she said. "Fishermen were asking if they could join the search operations, and I agreed. If boats that had gone 15 days ago had come back with fishermen alive, we will make every attempt to bring everybody back", she said.

"This is the time to keep my focus on rescue operations", she said. The Minister addressed the fishermen both at Vizhinjam and Poonthura, assuring them that there would be no laxity in the search operations.

However, the local fishermen alleged that there was lack of coordination in rescue operations. The warning was given on November 29... The Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force began their work.

At the medical college hospital here, where 49 rescued fishermen are now under medical observation, it was a heart-wrenching sight as many people who are yet to hear from their near and dear ones came to have a look at the 12 dead bodies kept in the mortuary.

"There will not be any dilution of operations", she said. Even during the tsunami the government machinery did not act like this. Vijayan later left the place along with Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

Meanwhile, the Congress-led opposition and the BJP slammed the Vijayan government for the "irresponsible manner" in which the tragedy was handled and while Ramesh Chennithala, the Leader of Opposition, said that the rescue and relief operations could not take place smoothly as there is an ongoing cold war between the CPM and the CPI, state BJP president Kummanam Rajasekheran said the state government failed miserably.

She tried to clear the air about allegations that central agencies did not warn Kerala early enough.

While the Coast Guard saved 114 from Kerala, merchant vessels and trawlers saved 36 off the coast of Kerala and Lakshwadeep islands.

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