8 dead as rain batters Tamil Nadu and Kerala

There were also reports of atleast 50 trees being uprooted by strong winds

Though IMD regional director S Sudevan said on Thursday the formation was moving towards Lakshadweep Islands and there was no need to panic, he added that Ockhi was also likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours. "Total 6 warships & 2 coast guard ships have been deployed along with additional air effort tomorrow".

At least five Navy ships have been deployed from Kochi, two ships on standby in Lakshadweep, and two ICG ships each deployed from Kochi and Tuticorin, for search and rescue operation. Over 80 fishermen from Kerala remain missing and are suspected to be stranded at sea. A couple - Appu Nadar, 73, and Sumathi, 68 - also died due to the cyclone.

The Met has forecast heavy rains for Thursday and Friday in southern Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep and also parts of Nicobar Islands. Four trains were partially cancelled due to cyclonic wind and incessant torrential rain between Nagercoil-Kanyakumari, Nagercoil Thiruvnanthpuram and Nagercoil-Tirunelveli sections.




The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has already issued an alert of heavy to very heavy rainfall in both the states. Shutters of Neyyar Dam were opened following heavy rain in catchment areas.In Idukki district, a portion of St Sebastian's school fell down, but no injuries have been reported so far. Heavy to very heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected under the influence of cyclonic storm Ockh.

The report said gale wind with speeds reaching 65-75 kmph and gusting to 85 kmph are likely along and off south Kerala over the next 48 hours and off south Tamil Nadu. Fishermen in the coastal regions were warned to not venture out in the rough sea for the next two days. Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 km gusting to 75 km/hour likely along and off Kerala coast.

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