Several houses suffered damage, coconut trees got uprooted and communication lines were disrupted as rains accompanied by strong winds lashed the Lakshadweep islands under the influence of Cyclone Ockhi. Five fishing boats were damaged early today at Kalpeni island as water level rose due to heavy rains, sources said. The ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm Ockhi – which in Bengali means ‘eye’ – 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. Minicoy island received 14cm of rains in the last 24 hours ending at 0830 this morning, Met department sources said. 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.
Gale winds with speed reaching 120-130kmph gusting to 145kmph is very likely over Lakshadweep in the next 24 hours and gradually decrease thereafter, the met bulletin said. Giant waves were expected along the Kerala coast, official sources said.
Yesterday, 218 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. The rescued fishermen included 60 who were saved by a Japanese cargo vessel.