Amid the havoc of cyclonic storm Ockhi in the southern parts of India, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said there were serious lapses from the side of the state disaster management department.
Vijayan criticised the department, saying the alert from Hyderabad was not sent to the government on time. The cyclonic storm has further intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, and claimed at least four lives in Kanyakumari. Regular life is brought to a standstill, and at least 80 fishermen and 50 boats have gone missing from the coast of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in its wake.
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. A P8I aircraft, the Navy Dornier and the Coast Guard Dornier have also been deployed for the same. Helicopters are kept ready on standby. Cyclone Ockhi that has created massive destruction in Tamil Nadu and Kerala is now moving towards Lakshwadeep Islands.
Yesterday, the depression in southwest Bay of Bengal had snowballed into the cyclonic storm. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an alert of heavy to very heavy rainfall in both the states. The deadly storm has killed seven people in neighbouring Sri Lanka and affected the lives of nearly 20,000 people.