Rain In Tamil Nadu, Kerala Weather: Scores of fishermen have been rescued from stormy seas.
Kanyakumari/Chennai: Cyclone Ockhi intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved towards Lakshadweep today after causing heavy rain that has left at least 13 people dead in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Navy has been called in to rescue stranded fishermen. Cyclone Ockhi is likely to strengthen further, triggering a "red warning" for Lakshadweep - the highest category alert. The worst seems to be over in the mainland but forecasters have warned of heavy rain in parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Schools near the coast in the two states have been closed.
Here are the top 10 updates on Cyclone Ockhi:
The air force, navy and coast guard are helping rescue fishermen stranded at sea. More than 100 fishermen have been rescued off the coast of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram Collector K Vasuki told NDTV. Dozens more have been rescued in Tamil Nadu.
The cyclone is likely to hit Lakshadweep Islands in the next 24 hours with winds of up to 130 kmph. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a red warning. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and navy are on standby for search and rescue operations.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has reviewed preparations to deal with Cyclone Ockhi and said he spoke to the chief of the NDRF.
The weather office has said the worst is over for the mainland and the cyclone has moved away from Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram. But it is intensifying on its way and winds and rain could cause damage over the next 24 hours.
Six people were killed and dozens of houses were damaged in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu, the police said. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from the popular tourist town of Kanyakumari. Seven people were also killed in Kerala.
Rising waters have entered a popular 17th century temple in Kanyakumari's Shuchindram and several villages in the region. About 30 fishermen are still missing. Several areas are without electricity.
This morning brought relief from incessant rains in Thiruvananthapuram. The weather office has predicted intermittent showers through the day in the city and also in Chennai.
Several trains to and from Thiruvananthapuram were either delayed, cancelled or re-scheduled due to heavy rains overnight and the forecast of further rains.
Five fishing boats are reported to have sunk near Lakshadweep's Kalpeni Island. No casualties have been reported.
Cyclone Ockhi was named by Bangladesh after the Bengali word for "eye".