The Tamil Nadu government has said it will soon seek central funds for the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi in the southern parts of the state, with Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts being the worst hit. This was conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Chief Minister K Palaniswami during a telephone conversation between the two leaders last night, a state government release said. “The prime minister assured to immediately give the required assistance,” the release issued last night said. Modi dialled Palaniswami and enquired about the damage caused by the cyclone, which also battered parts of Kerala, it said. The chief minister apprised him of the various relief works going on in “full swing” in seven districts of the state and told Modi that Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli were the worst affected. He listed out various steps being taken, besides deputing senior ministers and IAS officials to oversee the relief work, the release added. Efforts were being undertaken on a “war footing” while power supply was being restored. The Coast Guard’s help was being used to rescue 30 fishermen stranded in the sea even as 76 of them had been already rescued, Palaniswami said.
The state will send a report to the Centre seeking funds after carrying out a detailed assessment of the damage caused by the cyclone, which has crippled life in Kanyakumari district, he told the Prime Minister. Cyclone Ockhi, which in Bengali means ‘eye’, had yesterday intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved to the Arabian Sea. The state government yesterday said that over 1,200 people affected by the cyclone in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts have been lodged in relief camps.