Cyclone over planet Earth. Elements of this image are furnished by NASA
If you were planning to head to Kerala or Tamil Nadu anytime soon, it is best to keep those plans on hold for a while. Several passenger trains have been cancelled and the weather department has issued an ‘orange’ alert for Kerala and Tamil Nadu to indicate that the tropical cyclonic storm Ockhi is lashing the two southern states. So far, the storm has claimed the lives of around nine people, and at least 80 fishermen have been reported missing in the sea. Also Read - Kerala Reports First Coronavirus Death. A Reason to Worry? | 5 Points
The Kerala state government has called in an emergency meeting, according to the Hindustan Times, to tackle the emergency. Heavy rains and strong winds have been lashing the southern end of the Indian peninsula and, according to the meteorological department, has hit the nearby Lakshadweep Islands as well. In Kollam city, where one man died after a tree fell on him, disaster rehab centers have been told to prepare for evacuation measures if needed. Also Read - Kabul Gurudwara Attack May be Linked to Kerala, Indian Security Agencies Eyeing ISKP Kasaragod Module
As for the mission fishermen, two aircraft and three ships have been mobilized to search for the six fishing boats that went missing. A marine engineering vessel also disappeared somewhere in the waters near Vizhinjam. The cyclone Ockhi, named by Bangladesh and translated to ‘eye’ in Bengali, is expected to continue its rampage across Kerala and Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep, for around 36 hours. Apart from Kollam, the cities of Nagercoil, Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari have also suffered, facing significant property damage. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Kerala IAS Officer Violates Home Quarantine Protocol, Traced in UP
Schools in Kerala’s capital remain closed today, and several trains that were running to and from Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram stand cancelled as the cyclone runs amok. At the Chennai center of the India Meteorological Department, scientist S Sudevan told The Indian Express that the cyclone is gaining strength, but moving away from the mainland coast. NOW READ: Volcanic Eruption at Indonesias Mount Agung: High Alert in Bali, 25,000 people evacuated, flights canceled
Wind speeds will reach 70-80 km per hour and peak at around 100 km per hour by tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, another low pressure system, which precedes a cyclone, has been observed being formed in the Bay of Bengal. If it turns into a cyclone, it could hit the east coast of India by December 4, 2017.