2,060 people shifted to 20 camps set up in seven districts; Lakshadweep islands too badly hit
The Lakshadweep islands and, to a relatively lesser extent, the coastal districts of Kerala on Thursday bore the brunt of Cyclone Maha which continues to cut a furious swathe across the Arabian Sea.
As many as 759 people were evacuated to shelters in Lakshadweep where Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan and Kadmat islands remained the worst-hit. Nine fishing boats with around 100 fishermen from Kerala and Tamil Nadu have sought refuge on the islands.
In Kerala, several districts reported heavy rainfall on Thursday.
Four fishermen sustained minor injuries in Kasaragod after their boats collided with a breakwater at Azhithala, near Neeleswaram. All four have been rescued. In Kozhikode, two fishermen from Vadakara are feared stranded in the sea off Ezhimala.
In Thrissur, a fishing boat which ventured into the sea from Chettuva was found destroyed off Ponnani. While six fishermen were rescued, one person is missing. Around 100 people in Chellanam and Vypeen in Ernakulam district have been shifted to relief camps opened by the district administration since the early hours of Thursday.
According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) 2,060 people (670 families) have been moved to 20 camps in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram (1), Alappuzha (2), Ernakulam (7), Thrissur (4), Palakkad (2), Malappuram (3) and Kozhikode (1) since October 21. One death has been reported in the State while eight people are missing in Thrissur.
Twenty houses have been destroyed and 122 damaged in monsoon-related fury, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said.
The Severe Cyclonic Storm Maha is expected to become Very Severe Cyclonic Storm by Friday, spawning winds with speeds touching 120-130 kmph and gusting to 145 kmph. On Thursday evening, Maha lay 130 km north-northeast of Aminidivi, 200 km north-northeast of Kavaratti and 340 km west-northwest of Kozhikode.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea. Sea condition on Friday is very likely to be very high to phenomenal over eastcentral Arabian Sea, rough to very rough over the Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea and very rough over westcentral Arabian Sea, the India Meteorological Department said.
The IMD has issued yellow alerts for isolated heavy rainfall in the Lakshadweep islands and the districts of Kasaragod, Kannur and Kozhikode for Friday.