357 fishermen stranded in sea due to cyclone Ockhi rescued: Defence Minister

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Dec 2017 09:05:19



A TOTAL of 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in sea due to cyclone Ockhi, were rescued on Sunday morning, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.
In addition to the fishermen from Tamil Nadu, 248 from Kerala and 38 from Lakshadweep Islands, were rescued by Airforce, Navy and Coast Guard personnel, she said in a tweet.

“An update on the search and rescue efforts being done by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force to save the lives of fishermen affected by #CycloneOckhi: 357 fishermen have been saved as of 10 am today,” she said in her official Twitter handle.

Sitharaman visited cyclone-hit Kanyakumari and took stock of the situation. Posting a fact-sheet, Sitharaman said since November 30, the CG deployed two ships, an equal number of fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter for search and rescue of TN fishermen.
Similarly, the Coast Guard deployed seven ships in Kerala and one in Lakshadweep islands.

The Navy deployed six ships, two fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters in Kerala while the Air Force deployed one aircraft and two helicopters for Tamil Nadu and Kerala. On December 2, the Coast Guard deployed one each ship and fixed wing aircraft in Tamil Nadu and eight ships and two fixed wing aircraft (FWA which also took care of Lakshadweep Islands) besides one helicopter for Kerala.

On Saturday, the Navy deployed eight ships, two FWA and four helicopters for Kerala besides two ships and two FWA for Lakshadweep Islands for search and rescue operations.
The Airforce deployed two helicopters for Tamil Nadu and Kerala. While the CG saved 71 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 114 from Kerala, the Navy rescued 121 from Kerala and Air Force 15.

Merchant vessels and trawlers saved 36 off the coast of Kerala and Lakshwadeep Islands.
Cyclone Ockhi cannot be declared national calamity: Centre: THE Centre on Sunday said Cyclone Ockhi, which wrecked havoc in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep, cannot be declared a national calamity as there is no
such scheme, but assured all necessary assistance to tackle the situation.

Speaking to reporters after attending a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the Secretariat here, Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam said the Centre has already given necessary relief funds to the State Government.
“We have received a memorandum from the state Government requesting to declare Cyclone Ockhi as a national calamity. But, there is no such scheme for the Centre to do the same,” he said.

Though the Union Tourism Minister earlier backed the Kerala Government’s contention that they had not received any prior warning about the cyclone, he later clarified that the central agencies had given necessary alerts on November 28 and 29 itself. Kannanthanam, in the presence of Vijayan, earlier had stated that the State had received the cyclone alert only on November 30 and a clear prior warning had not been issued before that.

The Union Minister later visited nearby Punthura, a coastal hamlet where fishermen are protesting alleging delay in rescue of their kin, who had ventured into sea days ago. The death toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala climbed to 19, with six more bodies being recovered, the sources said.
Cyclone Ockhi-hit 321 fishermen reach Mah coast, says CM: CHIEF Minister Devendra Fadnavis said 28 more boats, carrying 321 fishermen, which were caught in rough seas due to Cyclone Ockhi, have safely reached Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri coast on Sunday.

Of these, 23 are from Tamil Nadu, three from Kerala and two from Karnataka, he said.
“Due to #CycloneOckhi 28 more boats with 321 fishermen landed at Ratnagiri today,” Fadnavis tweeted.
The boats are now docked at Mirya Bunder, Ratnagiri. All fishermen are safe and officials are looking after them with utmost care, the Chief Minister said.