Cyclone Ockhi Death Toll Rises To 39; Likely To Miss Gujarat Coast

| December 6 , 2017 , 08:01 IST

The death toll from the Cyclone Ockhi which hit Tamil Nadu and Kerala on November 30 has increased to 39, while 167 others are still missing, an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

According to the Meteorological Centre, the cyclone which was earlier expected to make landfall on the coasts of Gujarat and Maharashtra between December 4 and December 6, will now likely not hit the Gujarat coast near Surat.

The Ockhi cyclonic storm has turned into a "deep depression" and may hit south Gujarat only as a "depression" late on Wednesday night, an official statement said.

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Meanwhile, Gujarat is on high alert in case of possible damage from the cyclone, with rescue and relief teams already stationed at its coast.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani tweeted, "Conducted review meeting with officials in view of #OkhiCyclone at Surat. Instructed them to leave no stone unturned to counter any adverse situation. People are requested to follow the instructions issued by the administration from time to time and cooperate. No need to panic."

Several political leaders that were scheduled to conduct election rallies in the poll-bound state were forced to cancel their respect rallies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Surat which had been scheduled for Wednesday has been delayed to Thursday.

Cyclone Ockhi passed through Mumbai on Tuesday, resulting only in rains, without causing any damage to life or property. In comparison, the cyclone had caused considerable damage and devastation in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep islands.

The Centre had recently refused to designate Cyclone Ockhi has a 'national disaster' in response to a petition by the Kerala government, but agreed to provide all support to the cyclone-hit states.