Watch: Cyclone Ockhi nears Lakshadweep, at least 16 dead in India, Sri Lanka

New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 01, 2017, 09:29 AM(IST)

Gale winds speed reaching 110-120 kmph gusting to 130 kmph were very likely over and around Lakshadweep during the next 24 hours, IMD has said. Photograph:( ANI )

Lakshadweep is at the centre of cyclone Ockhi with heavy downpour and gale winds expected in the next 24 hours, the Indian Metrological Department has said.

India has posted Naval vessels around Lakshadeep and rescued at least eight fishermen caught in choppy waters. Reports say at least 30 fishermen are still missing.

 "The fishermen were found floating in the water by advance light helicopter," a Navy spokesman told PTI.

The Indian Meteorological Department said cyclone Ockhi has intensified into a  "severe cyclone" and lies at about 110 km northeast of Minicoy island and it is "likely to cross Lakshadweep arch during the next 24 hours."

Heavy rainfall has been forecast in several places around Lakshadweep. South Tamil Nadu has been lashed with heavy rains with Kanyakumari district bearing the brunt of rainfall.

The storm has made its way to Sri Lanka with reports of at least seven people being killed and several fishermen missing.

Heavy winds hit the island’s southern, western and south-central areas on Thursday, as a result, the government declared a holiday for schools in the rain-hit areas.

At least hundred people are feared missing across India and Sri Lanka, with the storm having claimed at least sixteen lives as it makes its way through India's western islands.

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