Kerala alert for fishermen as low pressure intensifies


Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is very likely over Comorin area and along and off south Tamilnadu and south Kerala coasts during the next 48 hrs and along and off Kerala coast in subsequent 24 hrs. "We have been informed that the depression is intensifying and situated 390 kms away from the Thiruvananthapuram coast now", Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

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.

According to the India Meteorological department, low pressure area over equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal and south Sri Lanka coast now lies as a well marked low pressure area over Equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining south Sri Lanka and Maldives-Comorin area.

"Fishermen should not venture into the sea".

"It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and intensify into a deep depression during next 48 hours", the bulletin said.

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

Kerala's chief secretary Paul Antony met different departmental heads Tuesday morning to review preparations.

The depression, which is forecast to develop into a deep depression in the next 48 hours, is likely to generate winds with speeds of up to 60 kmph in the state along with thundershowers. The warning would be apply for along and off the rest of Kerala on Thursday.

The fresh alert comes hours after the state government on Monday night asked officials to ensure return of fishermen engaged in deep-sea fishing in view of the weather system. The advisory also applies to the Kerala coast, Lakshadweep area and adjoining South-East Arabian Sea until Thursday. The BJP had also charged the LDF government with failing to protect its fishermen "despite early warning" about the cyclone.