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Cyclone Ockhi moves towards Maharashtra, Gujarat; heavy rains predicted

The death toll climbed to 28 in Kerala after a rescue team recovered two more bodies on Monday and officials said at least 90 people were still missing in the state.

Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were stranded at sea following Cyclone Ockhi, being brought to Chellanam harbour, in Kochi on Sunday.

Cyclone Ockhi, which left behind a trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep, is now over the Arabian Sea around 690km south-southwest of Mumbai and 870km south-southwest of Gujarat’s Surat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday.

“It is likely to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts by early Tuesday morning and settle as a deep depression,” IMD’s director general KJ Ramesh said.

“We have issued heavy rainfall warnings for Gujarat, while light to moderate rain is expected in isolated areas in north Konkan, including Mumbai, on Tuesday,” Ramesh added.

The scale of the cyclone was reduced from ‘very severe’ on Sunday to ‘severe’, the weather department said. It has warned fisherman along the Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka coastline not to venture into the sea from Monday to Wednesday.

The high winds and persistent rains hit the southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu last week and caused loss to life and property.

The death toll climbed to 28 in Kerala after a rescue team recovered two more bodies on Monday and officials said at least 90 people were still missing in the state.

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