- NL Sena
Eight people have died in coastal Kerala and Tamil Nadu and nearly 250 fishermen are missing as rains lashed the states and a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal turned into a cyclonic storm, Ockhi.
According to meteorologists, the cyclone is heading for Lakshadweep and is unlikely to hit India though an alert has been issued. NDTV reported that schools in seven districts across the two states have been shut, and strong winds uprooted more than 500 trees, snapped power lines and damaged settlements near the sea in Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts. Heavy rains are likely to continue for the next 24 hours.
According to Skymet, Chennai recorded 20 mm of rainfall since 8.30 am on Thursday, while more than 800 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas of Kanyakumari.
The Indian Navy has launched search and rescue operations and set up a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation in southern Kerala.