Thiruvananthapuram: Cyclone Ockhi claimed four more victims in Kerala on Tuesday, taking the toll in the tragedy to 36. The bodies recovered from the sea by Marine Enforcement are yet to be identified.
At the same time, 92 fishermen who had ventured into the sea during Ockhi still remain untraced. Search operations for these fishermen have been extended to more areas in the deep sea and coasts. Fisherfolk are aiding the authorities in the search, covering the sea off Kochi and Alappuzha as well as the coasts.
Launching damage control measures, the district administration has announced that it will ensure treatment and food for rescued fishermen as well as their conveyance to native places on discharge from hospital. The district collector has also issued strict instructions to conduct emergency post-mortem on bodies recovered from the sea.
Giving relief to coastal folk, the Suchitwa Mission said that it will repair septic tanks damaged during Ockhi. Authorities have also launched efforts to prevent the spread of epidemics in the coastal areas. Health and Social Welfare officials have been directed to carry out chlorination in the affected areas. Taluk supply officer has been asked to make a list of people eligible for free ration and the Fisheries Department will make an estimate of the financial loss suffered by the fisherfolk.
Hundreds of fishermen safe
Marine Enforcement has rescued 11 fishermen hailing from Ponnani. They are among the hundreds of fisherfolk who have safely reached the shore at coastal towns in Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The return of the fishermen who are now in Maharashtra to Kerala will be delayed as they are reluctant to leave their boats behind, said ADGP B. Sandhya. These fishermen will come back home when weather conditions turn favorable. Their particulars have been handed over to the respective district collectors, said the ADGP.
The number of Keralite fisherfolk who reached various ports in other states include, 58 at Sindhudurg, 31 at Ratnagiri and over 200 in Veraval. These fishermen have already contacted their families in Kerala. Another 800 fishermen belonging to states other than Kerala have also reached Sindhudurg.
Weather conditions in the Bay of Bengal, meanwhile, gave rise to concerns over another cyclone. A low pressure area that moved into the Bay from the Andamans will gain strength to reach Tamil Nadu and Andhra coasts by Wednesday, said Met authorities. This may develop into a cyclone, they pointed out.