NEW DELHI – At least eight people have died in South India, and seven in Sri Lanka after Cyclone Ockhi, a tropical storm, plowed through the region and triggered heavy rains, official sources reported Friday.
A spokesperson for the Department of Disaster Management of Kerala, Rajeev, told EFE on Friday that at least four people had died due to the strong winds in the southeastern state, which has experienced heavy rainfall since Thursday.
“Five of the fourteen districts are suffering heavy rain,” said the source.
In the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, four people were killed in incidents related to rain and wind, the Assistant Commissioner of Tamil Nadu state Disaster Management Agency, N. Suresh, told EFE.
He added that more than 1,200 people had to be evacuated in the state.
At 8:30 am (0300 GMT), the cyclone was located in the southeast of the Arabian Sea at 8.8 degrees north latitude and 74.0 degrees east longitude, southwest of India and some 110 kilometers (68.3 miles) north-northeast of Minicoy island.
It is travelling north-northwestward at a speed of 17 kilometers per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour, reported the Indian Meteorological Institute, according to which the cyclonic system is very likely to intensify further in the next few hours.
On Thursday, while passing through Sri Lanka, Ockhi left at least seven people dead and another five missing, and hundreds of people had to be evacuated.
A year ago, tropical Cyclone Vardah left 18 dead, knocked down thousands of trees, and left large areas without electricity and hundreds of roads completely cut off.