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Cyclone Ockhi: Bad weather restrains IAF rescue operations

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 09, 2018

Indian Air Force choppers are ready for launching rescue operations for those stranded at sea in the wake of severe cyclone 'Ockhi' but are not airborne yet due to inclement weather.

The severe cyclone has crossed Minicoy and was located latest at 110 km north-north-east of this gateway island of Lakshadweep from the South.

Heavy rain and high winds have not allowed the IAF choppers to take off, according to the public relations officer, Defence, here.

Otherwise, the Air Force, Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed men and machine for the recce and rescue operations. Two AN-32 aircraft is already airborne and doing reconnaissance over the Arabian Sea. The aircraft is able to locate people stranded in the sea, the Defence spokesperson said.

These aircraft are informing the Coast Guard and the Navy about the location of the fishermen and floating boats in the sea. The Coast Guard and the Navy are engaged in the rescue operations from their vessels out at sea, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, there is widespread among the fishermen community over the 'absolute lack' of advance information about the brewing bad weather from either the government or Met authorities.

A cyclone cannot happen overnight, said a group of fishermen from the Vizhinjam-Poovar belt of the Thiruvananthapuram coast, who is waiting to hear about missing persons out into the sea.

At least 270 fishermen and 62 country boats are missing,with the official warning of the rough weather proving too late for them. This morning, there are reports that five country boats have sunk near the Lakshadweep islands where the severe cyclone is currently active.



Published on December 01, 2017

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