8 killed, over 100 missing as cyclonic storm causes widespread rain in southern India

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/12/1 13:39:09

At least eight people were killed in coastal Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern Indian, following cyclonic storm, officials said Friday.

Over 100 fishermen are reported missing in the affected areas.

The cyclonic storm which meteorologists named as "Cyclone Ockhi" is heading for Lakshadweep.

"Eight deaths, four each from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were reported," an official said.

According to officials, Ockhi caused widespread rain along with ferocious winds in Tamil Nadu, Kerela and Lakshadweep Islands.

The cyclone left a trail of destruction in Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts of Tamil Nadu.

Reports said strong winds uprooted more than 1,000 trees, snapped power lines and damaged settlements close to the sea.

Heavy showers are likely to continue for the next 12 hours, officials said.

Authorities have pressed in its men to carry out rescue and relief measures and closed schools in seven districts of the two states. Rescuers have evacuated over 800 people from the affected areas.

A defense spokesman said Indian Coast Guard has deployed two offshore patrol vessels to search the missing fishermen off the Thiruvananthapuram coast and one vessel off the Tuticorin coast in Tamil Nadu for rescue operations.

"The Meteorological Department has said the cyclone has moved to the Southeast Arabian Sea with a speed of 25 kmph during past six hours and lay centered at about 180 km west of Thiruvanathapuram and 200 km east of Minicoy. The system is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours," the state-run broadcaster All India Radio said.

"The weather forecast says rainfall is likely at most places and heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over south Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep Islands during next 12 hours."

Authorities have advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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