Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Cyclone Ockhi: Rajnath speaks Tamil Nadu, Kerala CMs

Cyclone Ockhi: Rajnath speaks Tamil Nadu, Kerala CMs

"The Central Government have deployed Coast Guard - Ships (10), Aircraft (3), Helicopters (1); Navy - Ships (10), Aircraft (2), Helicopters (2); Airforce - Aircraft (1), Helicopters (3) for rescue and relief", a government statement said.

In addition, 2,384 fishermen and their 205 boats were rescued out of the 2,570 fishermen who had sailed in 284 boats from other places in the state, the statement said.

Through proper channel, Kerala can send its recommendations with regard to hike in compensation to families of fishermen who had lot their kin and equipment, she said adding she would brief Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister, on the ground realities here.

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The IMD has warned fishermen in the Maharashtra and Gujarat area not to venture into the sea. "We have directed teams of fishermen who have started their own rescue operations that only fishing boats more than 20 metres long are allowed and should not go beyond two nautical miles into the sea". She assured them that their demand for including local fishermen in the rescue operations would be accepted. "It was a nightmare", said a rescued fisherman.

The government agencies at the centre and the affected States are regularly monitoring the cyclonic storm and are conducting necessary relief and rescue operations.

It was an emotionally charged atmosphere at the two fishing villages as women wailing and weeping for the safe return of their husbands and brothers came together to hear the minister, while the menfolk raised slogans.

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"I appealed to them that the search operations with even warships are going on and will continue till the last of the missing fishermen is brought back".

She, however, refused to take questions on the criticism about the way the search operations have been carried out, since Ockhi struck off the southern coastline on November 30. Sitharaman, who was accompanied by state ministers Kadakampally Surendran and J Mercikutty Amma, had discussions with church leaders at Vizhinjam and Poonthura.

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