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Ockhi: Rescue operations called off after intense search: Nirmala Sitharaman

Friday, Jan 19, 2018,11:55 IST By anju A A A

Chennai | The Centre has called off operations to trace missing fishermen following cyclone ‘Ockhi’ last month after days of intense search, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here today.

The minister said, search operations were conducted by the Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard along with some fishermen.

“But there were no sign of any debris or any boat.

Since there was no result for more than 7-8 days, the search operation was called off on December 27 after intense search,” she told reporters.

Cyclone ‘Ockhi’, which crossed the coast on November 30, left a trail of destruction in southern districts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala claiming several lives.

Sitharaman had visited the affected districts on December 3.

To a query,on whether she had received any request from the state government to continue the search operations, the minister said: “Not that I have received.” Meanwhile, giving details on the impact of cyclone, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said 194 fishermen were declared missing due to Ockhi.

The Government has formed a Committee to look into issues raised by fisherfolk, he said.

He said of the total missing, 146 hail from Kanyakumari district alone.

The government has enhanced the solatium to the next of kin of the deceased due to the cyclone to Rs 20 lakh (from Rs 10 lakh), ” he told reporters.

Jayakumar said some fishermen could not be traced as they had gone more than 200 nautical miles into deep sea.