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'Ockhi' ploughs through Lakshadweep, bracing to intensify

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 02, 2017

Satellite image as of 2.30 pm IST

A well-marked low-pressure area lays in wait over the South Andaman Sea

Very severe cyclone Ockhi continues to prowl the already battered Lakshadweep Islands lying west off the Kerala coast, awaiting another round of intensification.

It has been located to 260 km west-north-west of Minicoy and 230 km south-west of Amini Divi, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) update said.

Intensification likely

Its eastern flanks are over the Lakshadweep while some of the rest is over the South-East Arabian Sea. It is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours; it remains to be seen if it ramps up to a super cyclone.

Parts of South and Interior Tamil Nadu and adjoining Kerala continued to be lashed by heavy to very heavy rain as 'Ockhi' wended its history-making way through the Lakshadweep Islands.

The elaborate storm is not in any haste to move out of the stricken islands; which meant that the south-westerly winds feeding it mopped up tonnes of moisture from the sea to dumped over land.

Sea conditions are 'phenomenal' around the North Lakshadweep Islands, 'high' to 'very high' around South Lakshadweep; and 'rough' to 'very rough' along Kerala-Karnataka coasts.

Overnight heavy rain

The main stations recording heavy rainfall (in cm) until Saturday morning are Sathanur Dam-23; Sirkali-19; Minicoy-14; Chidambaram-18; Karaikal and Coonoor-13; Cuddalore-12; Puducherry-11; Nagapattinam-9; Thiruvananthapuram-8; and Perinthalmanna-7.

In line with 'Ockhi's expected movement, IMD has issued high wind alert for the Karnataka, Goa and Konkan coasts over the next couple of days.

Heavy rain has been forecast for Lakshadweep for tomorrow, accompanied by gale-force winds reaching speeds of up to 100 km/hr gusting to 110 km/hr. Squally winds with speeds reaching 45- to 55 km/hr and gusting to 65 km/hr are forecast for the Karnataka coast tomorrow.

Fishermen are advised not to venture out into the sea along and off the coast of Karnataka and around the Lakshadweep Islands tomorrow.

Storm brewing in Bay

IMD said that, with intensification on Sunday, 'Ockhi' would resume movement out of Lakshadweep initially in a west-north-west direction and re-curve to north-east during the next two days.

The change in direction would take place under the influence of a western disturbance, which would also cause to weaken it gradually as it heads towards Mumbai-Gujarat on the West Coast.

Meanwhile, a well-marked low-pressure area lay in wait over the South Andaman Sea, which IMD expected would become a depression soon, and further intensify.

Another tropical cyclone could be in the making here, and tracking a move towards the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh coast in around the same time as 'Ockhi' touches base over the West Coast.

Heavy to very heavy rain would start lashing the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from Tuesday, announcing the arrival of the likely cyclone.

Published on December 02, 2017

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