NEW DELHI – At least 17 people have died, 35 were missing and hundreds more were evacuated in southern India due to cyclone Ockhi, which has now moved away from the coasts leaving 11 dead in Sri Lanka.
In the Indian state of Kerala, strong winds and heavy rainfall have caused nine deaths, while 35 fishermen who were offshore during the cyclone remained missing, an official from a disaster management control room in Kerala told EFE.
According to the source, who asked not to be named, the authorities are carrying out rescue operations to locate the fishermen, and at least 607 people have been evacuated to emergency shelters.
Another nine people were killed by the cyclone in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, where close to 1,600 people have been evacuated, said N. Suresh from the state’s disaster management authority.
Currently, the situation is under control in the region as the cyclone has moved away, he said.
At 2:30 pm local time (0900 GMT), Ockhi was situated over the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea, in southwestern India.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the cyclone was moving at 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 miles per hour) and it is expected to degrade from Saturday night onwards.
While passing through Sri Lanka, where hundreds of people had to be evacuated, Ockhi left at least 11 dead and five missing.
In December 2016, tropical Cyclone Vardah left 18 dead, knocked down thousands of trees, and left large areas without electricity and hundreds of roads completely cut off.