Cyclone Ockhi: Death toll 19 in TN and Kerala

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After wreaking havoc in the southern states, cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in Gujarat and Maharashtra, resulting in unseasonal rain and thundershowers over the next 48 hours. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an alert Monday, warning fishermen against venturing into the sea as coastal areas are likely to experience strong winds.

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday said a total of 2,604 fishermen out of the 2,864 caught in the cyclone have been rescued and search for the remaining 260 is on while the Kerala government said a total of 530 fishermen have been rescued and 50 still untraced. "Expected to recurve and head towards Gujarat and Maharashtra", the Indian Coast Guard has said. Necessary advisories have been issued to fishermen and others.

Commodore G Prakash, Commanding Officer of INS Venduruthy told reporters in Kochi that the Indian Navy has rescued 25 people from Lakshadweep and picked 13 people off the Kerala coast.

A precautionary holiday has been declared in schools in Mumbai and adjoining districts on Tuesday due to "serious weather predictions" in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi, said Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde.

Around a thousand people have been stranded in rescue centres.

400 fishermen rescued as search continues.

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The cyclone has ravaged a large part of coastal areas there.

He said he saw several bodies floating by when he was in mid sea.

Meanwhile, The Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force are engaged in rescue operations with their ships, aircraft and helicopters.

"Eighteen fishing boats and 198 fishermen from Tamilnadu have taken safe shelter in Lakshadweep and Mincioy Group of Islands (western coast)", an official release said.

In a series of meetings, the NCMC took stock of the situation in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Lakshadweep, an official said today.

According to the statement, three ships and one aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard - Eastern Region were continuing with search and rescue operation off the Kanyakumari coast.

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