Chennai, Dec 1: Heavy rains continued to batter coastal areas of Kerala and south Tamil Nadu on Friday, crippling normal life, even as Cyclone Ockhi lay centered about 80km north-northeast of Minicoy in Lakshadweep.
The death toll in the two states in rain-related incidents rose to 12.
As the toll due to Cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district mounted to five on Friday, a low pressure system over the South Andaman Sea is expected to turn into a depression in the next 48 hours, which may bring more rain to Tamil Nadu.
The deaths occurred in cyclone-related incidents in the district. Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the victims, an official release said.
A report from Thiruvanathapuram said as many as 218 fishermen from Kerala, stranded in the sea off the coast due to inclement weather conditions, were brought safely to the shore on Friday even as the death toll rose to seven in the state.
In Chennai, Palaniswami took stock of the situation in the wake of the havoc wrought by the cyclone.
An official release said over 1,200 persons affected by the heavy rain in Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts, have been lodged in relief camps.
To expedite relief works in the worst hit Kanyakumari, two teams of National Disaster Response Force and seven teams of state disaster response agency have been deputed.
In Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts, heavy rains and gusty winds uprooted 579 trees, it said, adding, efforts are on to remove them.
“A well marked low pressure is lying over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood. It is expected to concentrate into a depression in the next 48 hours,” Regional Meteorological Centre Director S Balachandran said.
The system is likely to move towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra coast in the next four days. “This is the current situation and we are monitoring the system.”
In the next 24 hours, more rain is expected in most places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Heavy rainfall can be expected in Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni and Dindigul, he said.
Cyclone Ockhi, which in Bengali means ‘eye’, on Friday intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved to the Arabian Sea.