Death toll rises to 17 as cyclone Ockhi ravages southern India

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-02 18:58:44|Editor: Yurou
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NEW DELHI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in India's southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala has risen to 16 due to cyclone Ockhi, state-run broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) said Saturday.

The cyclonic storm has ravaged the coastal districts of the twin states and Lakshadweep.

"The death toll in rain related incidents in Kerala is reported to be seven," AIR said. "The death toll in Kanyakumari district has risen to 10."

Authorities have pressed in two units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and seven units of the State Force to carry out rescue work. Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard are also carrying out search operations to rescue fishermen.

Officials said search missions were being carried out by the Indian Coast Guard to look for the missing fishermen, who ventured out into the sea from different fishing harbors.

Reports said in Kerala, 155 fishermen have been rescued so far and 150 others managed to return on their own, while as in Tamil Nadu, 14 fishermen were still missing and the Navy was called in for their rescue.

Meanwhile, authorities said hectic efforts were going on for replacing about 4,000 damaged electric poles to restore power supply in the affected areas.

Indian meteorological department officials said in a statement Saturday that the system will further intensify during the next 24 hours.

"In this period, it is very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across Lakshadweep Islands," meteorological department officials said. "Sea condition would be phenomenal over and around Lakshadweep and would be very high along and off Kerala coast."

Officials said the sea level has risen considerably causing sea erosion in many areas of Kerala and Lakshadweep.