Cyclone Ockhi death toll climbs to 36

Cyclone Ockhi death toll climbs to 36

Three bodies were recovered on Thursday morning off the Kerala coast, taking the death toll due to Cyclone Ockhi to 36.

Rescue operations are still going on in full swing to trace the 96 missing fishermen.

While a body was recovered near Alappuzha by the marine enforcement wing, two bodies were found by coast guard ship Vaibhav off Alappuzha-Kochi coast, defence sources said.

An air force aircraft AN 32, flying between Kozhikode-Kochi coasts had sighted a fishing boat with about 15 fishermen following which the navy sent a Dornier aircraft and ship to the area which is close to Lakshadweep islands, the sources said.

Meanwhile, shipping services between Kozhikode and Lakshadweep began on Thursday with around 60 passengers boarding the high-speed vessel from Beypore.

M V Minicoy, the passenger vessel, berthed at Beypore had suffered some damage in the cyclone following which MMD officials had not granted travel clearance.

On Wednesday, the high-speed vessel arrived at Beypore from the islands to ferry the passengers, the sources said.

Around 1,600 passengers were ferried from Kochi to various islands of Lakshadweep when the shipping services resumed on December 5, according to the sources.

Shipping services from Kochi to the Union territory was stopped on November 30 to December 2, causing immense hardships to passengers.

From Mangaluru port, M V Amini Divi will sail for Lakshadweep with 46 passengers on Friday, the sources added.

Due to the cyclone, about 1,098 passengers had been stranded in the ports of Kochi, Kozhikode and Mangaluru since November 30.

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