Storm warning: Kerala on high alert after depression in Arabian Sea deepens

Storm warning: Kerala on high alert after depression in Arabian Sea deepens

It said squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kph and gusting to 65 kph was likely over Comorin area and along and off south Tamil Nadu, south Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts in the next 48 hours. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sent out instructions to the authorities to keep fishermen off the sea until Thursday.

Three months after Cyclone Ockhi ravaged the Kerala coast and caught the administration on the wrong foot, the government has sounded an alert as a depression in the Arabian Sea for last two days deepened further on Tuesday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), in an evening bulletin, said the depression adjoining the equatorial Indian Ocean had moved north-northwestward and lay centred about 360 km southeast of Minicoy, 280 km south-southwest of Thiruvananthapuram and 320 km east-northeast of Male.

Coastal control rooms have been directed to remain operational 24x7 till Thursday.

"While the south of Kerala will see heavy rainfall in the immediate 48 hours, North Kerala will experience rain on after 48 hours", said Sudevan.

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Fishermen are advised not to venture into sea along and off South Tamil Nadu, Comorin-Maldives area and adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Mannar area during this period. Forecast indicates rain or thundershower at many places on Tuesday and isolated heavy showers are expected over south Kerala on March 14 and across Kerala on March 15.

Meanwhile, the state's chief secretary Paul Antony met senior officers of various departments to review preparations. He said the warning for fishermen will be in force till Thursday.

The state government, still grappling with the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi in November previous year, took stock of the situation at a high-level meeting here and issued directives for contingency preparedness.

However, the government along the the State Disaster Management Committee have issued early warnings and are taking measures to safeguard the coastal areas this time.

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