Central team in Kerala to assess Cyclone Ockhi damages

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 26 (IANS) A central team landed here on Tuesday to assess damages caused by Cyclone Ockhi, which struck the southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu on November 30.

A total of 74 persons have been killed and according to the Latin Diocese, more than 250 continued to remain missing

The team, consisting of disaster management experts, was led by Vipin Mallik, a top official in the Home Department.

While Malik would visit the southern districts, another team would be in Kochi to assess the damages caused in other places like Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram districts.

“We will be going around to make our assessment and then we will prepare our report,” said Malik to reporters here, at the airport.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week during his visit to the state had assured both the beleaguered fishing community and the Kerala government of prompt relief and rehabilitation assistance.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought a Rs 7,340-crore relief package to mitigate the fisher folks’ sufferings.

It included compensation for the dead; assistance to the permanently disabled and those who suffered injuries; also for construction of homes; educational assistance; writing off loans and other programmes meant for the overall relief for the fisher folks in the state.

The central team was visiting here on the same fateful day when 13 years back a tsunami left 172 persons dead in Kollam and Alappuzha districts.