Ockhi cyclone inches closer to Kerala: Death toll rises to 4

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The storm named "OCKHI" is likely to gather strength in the next 24 hours to become a severe cyclonic storm as it moves towards the Lakshadweep Islands.

Meanwhile Defence PRO Dhanya Sanal K confirmed that four ships of Indian Navy and 2 ships of Indian Coast Guard have already been deployed for the rescue operations.

Five Navy ships have been deployed from Kochi and two ships are on standby in Lakshadweep.

Over 270 fishermen have not returned to the Thiruvananthapuram coast, triggering widespread panic in the coastal belt.

Indian Navy has dispatched three ships and two aircraft to locate six fishing boats and a Maritime Engineering vessel that went missing near Vizhinjam due to cyclonic conditions here. The Southern Naval Command was also gearing up for any humanitarian assistance and disaster relief that may be required in view of the cyclone in the southern parts of Kerala.

At least four trains connecting Thiruvananthapuram/Kollam and Nagercoil/Kanyakumari were cancelled and others rescheduled.

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The Chennai collector has declared a holiday for schools across the city in view of the heavy rainfall warning from the MeT department.

Schools in seven districts of Tamil Nadu, including Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Virudhunagar remained closed.

During next 48 hours high velocity winds up to the speed of 55 km to 65 km per hour are expected in southern Kerala. Heavy to very heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected under the influence of cyclonic storm Ockh.

The report added that Kerala can expect heavy winds that can reach up to speeds of 85 kmph along South Kerala coast. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea along and off south Kerala coast.

The Kerala coast can also expect heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places on December 1.