Cabinet Secy reviews rescue ops for another depression forming in Bay of Bengal

Cabinet Secy reviews rescue ops for another depression forming in Bay of Bengal

The Centre has deployed ten ships each of the Navy and the Coast Guard, besides six aircraft and as many helicopters for rescue operations off the coasts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which were battered by severe cyclonic storm "Ockhi."

A total of 243 fishermen in Tamil Nadu, 250 in Kerala and 1,047 people in Lakshadweep have been rescued so far. Relief material is also being provided to inmates in relief camps set up by the government agencies. Around 100 are still missing.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, reviewed the situation.

NCMC took note of another depression forming in the South East Bay of Bengal adjoining South Andaman sea and reviewed the state of preparedness by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Advisories issued

"Necessary advisories have been issued to fishermen and others. The Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have taken necessary steps to deal with any eventualities occurring in their respective States,"  an official  statement said. 

The Cabinet Secretary held a video conference with the Chief Secretaries and the senior officers of the affected States and UTs.

The very severe cyclonic storm "Ockhi" over east central Arabian Sea moved further northwards with a speed of 13 kmph early Monday. It was likely to move North-North Eastward and weaken gradually.

It will then cross coasts of south Gujarat and adjoining North Maharashtra near Surat as a deep depression by midnight of December 5, the statement said.

It also took stock of the state of preparedness in Maharashtra and Gujarat which are likely to be impacted by "Ockhi."  

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Kerala, which bore the brunt of the cyclone over the week-end and assured Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of all help. The rescue operations, she said, will continue till every missing fishermen has been brought back safely.

The fishermen's demand for including some of their men in the rescue team had been accepted and already 11 of them have joined the Navy boats and helicopters engaged in the operations, Sitharaman said.

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