Update: Death Toll from Cyclone Ockhi Rises

By MarEx 2017-12-05 20:12:19

[Update] On Tuesday, Indian officials said that the death toll from Cyclone Ockhi has risen to 39, a tenfold increase over the first numbers reported on Monday. 167 fishermen are still missing at sea, and port communities along India's west coast expect the number of fatalities to rise as the search continues. 

To date, over 600 fishermen have been rescued, and state governments are working with local fishing villages to gather more information on who was out to sea and who has returned. 800 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Kerala who were caught up in the storm have made it back to shore in Maharashtra, well to the north of their home ports. Another 250 fishermen made it safely to shore in the Lakshadweep Islands. 

24 Navy and Coast Guard vessels remain engaged in a search effort, along with 10 aircraft. “Every attempt is being made by Coast Guard, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force to get the missing fishermen and to bring them back to safety," said Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

The storm is now expected to dissipate before making landfall, and will likely have little effect on communities in Gujarat. However, political rallies scheduled for an upcoming provincial election have been canceled or postponed, including an event in Surat featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi.