(Eds: Updates with PM meeting victims) Kochi, Dec 19 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met people hit by Cyclone Ockhi in Lakshadweep islands after reviewing the situation at a high-level meeting at the union territory’s capital Kavaratti.

On his first leg of the day-long tour to areas affected by the cyclone recently, Modi reached Kavaratti this morning and chaired the meeting where he reviewed the situation in the aftermath of the the natural calamity that left a trail of destruction. Kavaratti is situated roughly 400 km west of Kochi coast.

Later, he met a group of people, who were victims of the cyclone and interacted with them.

“The Prime Minister met people affected by Cyclone Ockhi in the island. It was a good visit,” Lakshadweep MP P P Mohammed Faizal told PTI.

Earlier, Modi was received by top officials of the Lakshadweep administration and public representatives, including Faizal, on his arrival.

“PM @narendramodi reviewed the situation arising due to #CycloneOckhi at a high-level meeting in Lakshadweep,” said a tweet by the Prime Minister’s Office.

It also said youngsters of Lakshadweep extended a warm welcome to the prime minister.

The government also released photos of the prime minister interacting with a group of school children in Kavaratti.

Later, the prime minister left for Kerala and Tamil Nadu to visit cyclone battered coastal belts in the two southern states.

Modi had yesterday tweeted saying the Centre has been monitoring the situation round the clock and ensuring proper rescue and relief operations since Cyclone Ockhi struck.

“We have been working closely with the Governments of the affected states. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all those affected by the cyclone,” he had said.

The prime minister has constantly been monitoring the situation arising out of the natural calamity in the southern parts of the country.

A PMO statement yesterday said the Centre released the second instalment from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for Kerala and Tamil Nadu to supplement the efforts of these states in dealing with the situation.

“During financial year 2017-18, the amounts of the central share of the SDRF to the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu were Rs 153 crore and Rs 561 crore respectively,” it said.

Parts of southern Kerala and Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep were battered by the cyclone that formed in the Bay of Bengal on November 30 and later moved to the Arabian Sea.

It claimed over 70 lives in Kerala besides some in Tamil Nadu and left hundreds of fishermen stranded or missing.PTI TGB VS GSN

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.