Ockhi: 201 fishermen still missing

Ockhi: 201 fishermen still missing

The Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday said 201 fishermen who ventured into the sea before the cyclonic storm Ockhi formed over Arabian Sea were yet to return to the shore. The state government had on Monday stated that only 92 fishermen were untraced.

Representatives of the Archdiocese said ineffective communication of alerts and issues in coordination were affecting relief efforts after the disaster. They said of the 201 untraced fishermen, 108 had left the shores of Thiruvananthapuram on plywood boats and traditional fishing vessels. The Kerala government, while coordinating one of the state's biggest disaster rescue operations, is also facing criticism over an alleged failure in responding promptly to alerts issued by central agencies.

Archdiocese Vicar General Eugine H Pereira said the number of untraced fishermen could be much higher considering that many from other districts had also left the shores on motorised boats. The archdiocese is seeking a special relief package for the affected regions and planning to have a Kerala Catholic Bishops Council delegation meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apprise him of the concerns.

Rescue operations coninue

The joint search and rescue operations by the Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard continued on Tuesday. The Coast Guard rescued 184 fishermen from 15 stranded fishing boats from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, off Lakshadweep. Four more deaths, including three off the Kochi coast, were reported.

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