Tamil Nadu rains: Rains uprooted trees and damaged power cables.
Chennai: Eight people died in coastal Kerala and Tamil Nadu and nearly 90 fishermen remained missing as a depression above the Bay of Bengal turned into a cyclonic storm. Cyclone Ockhi, meteorologists say, is heading for Lakshadweep and is unlikely to make landfall in India. Currently it is hovering 130 km west-southwest of Trivandrum. Schools in seven districts across the two states have been closed. In Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts of Tamil Nadu, strong winds uprooted more than 500 trees, snapped power lines and damaged settlements close to the sea. Heavy showers are likely to continue for the next 24 hours.
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Over 800 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas of Kanyakumari. Several areas are without electricity.
The met office said the worst is over and the cyclone has moved away from Kanyakumari and Trivandrum. But it is intensifying on way to Lakshadweep and the wind speed and rain could cause damage.
Six warships and two Coast Guard vessels have been deployed in the area. Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF - with about 60 personnel - have also been sent to Kanyakumari for rescue and relief operations. Another team of 47 will be on standby in Kochi in Kerala to help out in Lakshadweep if needed.
Very heavy rain and thunderstorms are predicted in south Tamil Nadu, south Kerala, Lakshadweep and some places of Andaman and Nicobar islands over the next 24 hours. Stormy winds can touch 65-75 kmph in south Tamil Nadu and 50-60 kmph in the northern part of the state.
Chennai received up to 6 cm of rain between 8:30 last night and 8:30 this morning but the sky cleared up by the afternoon.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea around south Tamil Nadu, south Kerala coasts and Lakshadweep Islands. Sea conditions are expected to be very rough in the area, the weather office said.
The storm, named by Bangladesh after the Bengali word for "eye", could also intensify into a "severe" cyclone by tomorrow before reaching Lakshadweep on Saturday, the weather office said.
Heavy rains in Tamil Nadu earlier this month had sparked chaos, reviving fears of a repeat of the 2015 floods that killed more than 400 people, displaced lakhs and damaged property worth thousands of crores.