Met issues depression warning off Kerala coast, fishermen warned

Met issues depression warning off Kerala coast, fishermen warned

The State government alert comes in the backdrop of Ochki cyclone that hit the coasts of the State, neighbouring Tamilnadu and union territory of Lakshadweep in November-December a year ago, claiming the lives of several fishermen and leaving many missing. It would move northwest and intensify into deep depression in the next 48 hours.

The decision to issue the alert was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here, an official release said.

A meeting of the executive committee of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) chose to extend the alert for coastal communities till March 15 in view of the evolving situation. The next stage of alert is Signal 4 that indicates a deep depression has formed at sea with surface winds up to 60 kmph.

The India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rain, thundershowers and squally winds in southern coastal Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the next 48 hours.

"Yesterday's well-marked low-pressure area over Equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining south Sri Lanka and Maldives-Comorin area concentrated into a depression and lay centred at 0830 IST of today, the 13th March 2018, over the southeast Arabian Sea adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean near latitude 5.00N and longitude 76.00E, about 480 km southeast of Minicoy, 390 km south-southwest of Thiruvananthapuram and 290 km east-northeast of Male (the Maldives)", the IMD bulletin issued at noon today said. It is very likely to move north-north-westwards and intensify into a deep depression during next 48 hrs.

It has also forecast high waves in the 2.5 m-3.8 m range.

Fishermen have been asked not to venture out in the seas till March 15 due to heavy winds and showers.

Sea condition will be "rough" to "very rough" over Comorin-Maldives area and adjoining sea areas during until tomorrow and over Lakshadweep area and adjoining South-East Arabian Sea until Thursday.

The Chief Minister also called for a top level meeting to be attended by authorities such as chief secretary Paul Antony, state police chief Lokanath Behera, fisheries principal secretary B Sreenivas, Met director S Sudevan and other officials. The district collectors will ensure that coastal relief shelters are open and Tahsildars shall keep the keys of the relief shelters, coastal control rooms will function round the clock till March 15.

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