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Cyclone Ockhi: 357 fishermen rescued in TN, Kerala, says Nirmala Sitharaman


A total of 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in sea due to Cyclone Ockhi, were rescued, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.

Nirmala Sitharaman

A photograph on her official Twitter handle showed her inside a helicopter reviewing the search and rescue operations in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari.

"An update on the search and rescue efforts being done by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force to save the lives of fishermen affected by #CycloneOckhi: 357 fishermen have been saved as of 10 am today," she wrote on her official Twitter handle.

In a tweet, she said the Navy rescued 121 fishermen from Kerala and Air Force rescued 15.

While the coast guard saved 71 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 114 from Kerala, merchant vessels and trawlers saved 36 off the coast of Kerala and Lakshwadeep islands.

On her arrival in the worst-hit Kanyakumari district by helicopter from Thiruvanathapuram in Kerala, Sitharaman held discussions with deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, ministers and officials.

"#CycloneOckhi - Smt @nsitharaman reaches Kanyakumari. Along with Hon.Dy CM @OfficeOfOPS, senior ministers, officers of Navy, coastguard and district officials, Smt @nsitharaman reviews the current situation," she tweeted.

Sitharaman was received by senior officials and others including Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan.

A picture on her Twitter handle showed her holding discussions with Panneerselvam, ministers and officials.

She is slated to visit areas including Nagercoil, Neerodi and Susheendram besides holding discussions with local fishing folk, a defence public relations officer said.

Posting a fact-sheet, Sitharaman said since November 30, the Coast Guard (CG) deployed two ships, an equal number of fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter for search and rescue of Tamil Nadu fishermen.

Similarly, the Coast Guard deployed seven ships in Kerala and one in Lakshadweep islands.

The Navy deployed six ships, two fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters in Kerala while the Air Force deployed one aircraft and two helicopters for Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

On December 2, the Coast Guard deployed one each ship and fixed wing aircraft in Tamil Nadu and eight ships and two fixed wing aircraft (FWA which also took care of Lakshadweep Islands) besides one helicopter for Kerala.

The Navy deployed eight ships, two FWA and four helicopters for Kerala, besides two ships and two FWA for Lakshadweep islands for search and rescue operations.
The Airforce deployed two helicopters for Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said in Coimbatore that work to rescue fishermen was on in full swing with the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard deploying aircraft and ships.


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