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Last Updated Wednesday January 17 2018 11:53 PM IST

Cyclone Ockhi shows a slump, Lakshadweep heaves a sigh of relief | Pix & videos

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Cyclone Ockhi on topspin; Lakshadweep braces for impact A red warning has been issued for the Lakshadweep Islands as Cyclone Ockhi continued to move towards the archipelago on Friday.

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• Houses damaged in Kalpeni and Minicoy

• No loss of human life

• No power in Kalpeni and Minicoy

• Communication networks are down

• People evacuated to safer place on Friday

• Indian Navy, Coast Guard and island authorities are on alert

Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi/Kalpeni: The people of Lakshadweep heaved a sigh of relief as there was a mild let up in wind and rain by Saturday afternoon. Heavy rain and strong winds have been lashing the islands since Friday night as Cyclone Ockhi reached the archipelago on Friday. The Union Territory has been on red alert since Friday morning after the weathermen 'reassigned' Ockhi as a 'very severe tropical cyclone.'

However, the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard, and the civic authorities were on heightened vigil. They asked the people to stay away from possibly hazardous places like coasts, waterbodies and open spaces.

On Friday, Kalpeni and Minicoy plunged into darkness after the powerhouse in Minicoy had to shutdown following heavy rain. Communication networks were down. Sujith and Paul, lighthouse employees in Minicoy, were stranded after the path to the structure was blocked by fallen trees. In Kavaratti, the capital, authorities evacuated animals from a coastal farm.

High waves pounded Kalpeni and Minicoy islands and most places saw the sea surging into land. Residential areas mostly remained waterlogged. Lakshadweep MP P P Mohammed Faizal said on Friday that there were no casualties. The loss to property was immense as the wind had destroyed many houses.

A helipad and a breakwater - a barrier built out into the sea to protect a coast from the force of waves - were washed away in Kalpeni. Precautionary measures taken by the Lakshadweep administration soon after receiving the cyclone alert helped saved lives on the island, he said. Faizal said seven people had been rescued from a sinking Uru, a large Dhow-type wooden ship off Kavaratti.

People were evacuated from low-lying areas of various islands including Kalpeni, Minicoy, Kavratti, Agatti, Androth, Kadamath and Amini, all part of the UT.

While five fishing boats sank off Minicoy, an equal number sank off Kalpeni as per information reaching him, he said.

Lakshadweep

Kavaratti has been receiving steady rainfall since yesterday. "Trees have fallen, and strong winds are blowing. However, nobody can go near the beach to see the waves," Muneera AH, a resident of Andrott, told Onmanorama.

"We have been receiving phone calls from people in Kerala since yesterday (Friday), to confirm our safety. The only option is to stay alert as moving out is out of question", she added.

The powerhouse at Minicoy island has been shut down and people were evacuated to relief camps operating out of in schools, she said.

Though the residents of Andrott were warned of severe winds Friday night, Muneera said the island witnessed heavy rain and strong tides. She said the island was celebrating Nabi Dhinam on Saturday.

Coconut trees have been uprooted in various places and houses damaged in eastern Kalpeni and Minicoy, official sources said, adding the extent of the damage was being assessed.

The breakwater jetty, the embarkation and disembarkation point to Kalpeni island, has suffered severe damage.

Efforts were on to rescue fishermen who had ventured into the sea in 12 fishing boats from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The MP said he held telephonic talks with Union home minister Rajnath Singh who promised to despatch an official team to assess losses. He said he had also discussed the matter with officials in the Prime Minister's Office.

The 'very severe' cyclonic storm Ockhi over Lakshadweep is likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours. It is likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across Lakshadweep islands during the next 24 hours and then recurve north eastwards during the subsequent 48 hours, according to the latest Met department bulletin.

  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    A red alert was sounded for Lakshadweep Friday morning as the weathermen, with updated inputs, termed Cyclone Ockhi a 'severe tropical cyclone' as it closed in on the islands.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    The high waves tossed up boats, causing damage and rendering them immobile. The moored boats were also damaged by constant tidal pounding.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    Heavy rain and strong winds have been lashing the Lakshadweep islands since Friday as Cyclone Ockhi rummaged through the Union Territory.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    The Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard had pressed into service their deep-sea and shallow-water rescue and reconnaissance assets, including seven large ships, many boats, sea king choppers, and Dornier aircraft to help those in distress.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    A red alert was sounded for Lakshadweep Friday morning as the weathermen, with updated inputs, termed Cyclone Ockhi a 'severe tropical cyclone' as it closed in on the islands.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    A red alert was sounded for Lakshadweep Friday morning as the weathermen, with updated inputs, termed Cyclone Ockhi a 'severe tropical cyclone' as it closed in on the islands.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    A red alert was sounded for Lakshadweep Friday morning as the weathermen, with updated inputs, termed Cyclone Ockhi a 'severe tropical cyclone' as it closed in on the islands.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    A red alert was sounded for Lakshadweep Friday morning as the weathermen, with updated inputs, termed Cyclone Ockhi a 'severe tropical cyclone' as it closed in on the islands.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    A red alert was sounded for Lakshadweep Friday morning as the weathermen, with updated inputs, termed Cyclone Ockhi a 'severe tropical cyclone' as it closed in on the islands.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep
  • Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

    Heavy rain and strong winds have been lashing the Lakshadweep islands since Friday as Cyclone Ockhi rummaged through the Union Territory.

    Ockhi hits Lakshadweep

Minicoy island received 14cm of rains in the last 24 hours ending at 0830 Saturday morning, Met department sources said.

On Friday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said Ockhi, over Southeast Arabian Sea, continued to move west-northwest at 130 kmph. It said the cyclonic system was very likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours and make landfall on Lakshadweep Islands on Saturday.

Lakshadweep

It forecast rainfall at most places, heavy to very heavy at a few places, and isolated extremely heavy fall (more than 20 cm) over Lakshadweep in the next 24 hours.

Giant waves were expected along the Kerala coast, official sources said. Rainfall was likely over Kerala too.

Lakshadweep

Gale winds, reaching 110-120 kmph, gusting to 130 kmph, were very likely in Lakshadweep. Squalls would prevail along and off Kerala and Karnataka coasts.

The Indian Navy said two ships with relief materials were on standby at Lakshadweep for humanitarian assistance.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture out to the Arabian sea along the Kanyakumari, Kerala and south Karnataka coasts.

Lakshadweep

Cyclone Ockhi, which in Bengali means 'eye', on Thursday intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Friday and moved to the Arabian Sea.

On Friday, 223 fishermen, stranded in mid-sea off the coast were brought safely to the shore through active coordination of various agencies including the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard.

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