A low pressure system over the South Andaman Sea is expected to turn into a depression in the next 48 hours, which may bring more rainfall to Tamil Nadu, as the death toll due to Cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district rose to five today.The deaths occurred in cyclone-related incidents in the district. Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the victims, said an official release. “A well marked low pressure is lying over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood. It is expected to concentrate into a depression in the next 48 hours,” Regional Meteorological Centre Director S Balachandran said.Balachandran said the system is likely to move towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra coast in the next four days. “This is the current situation and we are monitoring the system.” In the next 24 hours, more rainfall is expected in most places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Heavy rainfall can be expected in Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni and Dindigul, he said.Also readCyclone Ockhi updates: More than 80 fishermen go missing; 8 dead in Tamil Nadu, KeralaFishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along the Kanyakumari coast and Arabian sea, he added. Cyclone Ockhi, which in Bengali means ‘eye’, today intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved to the Arabian Sea. An IMD bulletin said Ockhi over Southeast Arabian Sea continued to move west-northwestwards with a speed of 13 kmph. It lies over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea about 90km northeast of Minicoy and 270km south-southeast of Amini Divi.”The system is very likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours,” the bulletin said. Widespread rainfall has been reported in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with Papanasam (Tirunelveli district) recording 45 cm rain, Balachandran said. The Indian Navy is putting in “maximum effort” to rescue fishermen from the sea which is very rough under the influence of Cyclone Ockhi, a top Navy official said today. Rescue operations are on. Some fishermen have already been rescued by the Navy which immediately dispatched aircraft and ships besides helicopters to carry out rescue operations in the sea which is very rough, said Vice Admiral A R Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.”Maximum efforts have been put in,” he said at a press meet held on board the INS Tir on the occasion of Navy Day at the Naval Base here. “We have responded immediately. We will continue to meet the requirement of safety and security of our fishermen. As soon as we got the request from the government of Kerala for search operations, we have started that,” Vice Admiral Karve said. According to a defence spokesperson, the navy is continuing search and rescue operations in coordination with the Indian Coast Guard and the state administration in the coastal areas of Kerala.At present, 69 people stranded in the sea have been located and the exact numbers are being corroborated, he said.Twenty people have been rescued and efforts are on to bring others to safety. Continuous sorties of aircraft and helicopters are being undertaken in coordination with the units at sea, the spokesperson said. Top navy officials said they have deployed two ships to the Lakshadweep Islands for carrying out rescue and rehabilitation operations in the island which is under threat of the cyclone.Ockhi, which has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, moved to the Arabian Sea today.
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Cyclone Ockhi: Depression alert over south Andaman Sea, Navy strives to resue stranded fishermen