Kochi: The civil administration has geared itself up to face the ‘Maha’ cyclone even as many parts of the state received heavy rain while several coastal areas were battered by high waves on Thursday. Seven fishermen were missing while the Coast Guard rescued five from a fishing boat near Ponnani coast. One person from the boat, which went for fishing from Chavakkad, was unaccounted for.
Though Kerala does not come directly under the cyclonic path, coastal regions were under threat of torrential rain and gusty winds. The state disaster management authority has warned that the cyclone may gain more strength at night.
Four fishermen of the vessel ‘Ladakh’ that left Chombala near Vadakara remained incommunicado while two persons in another vessel ‘Taufeeq’ from Azhithala also remained untraced.
The India Meteorolog-ical Department in a bulletin issued on Thursday said the cyclone was likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm over east-central Arabian Sea during the next 24 hours. Lakshadweep Island was placed under red alert and ship and flight services to and from the island remained suspended.
According to an official statement by the Indian Navy, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewed the situation with the administration. The Indian Na-vy at Lakshadweep and the Southern Naval Com-mand were ready to render assistance to the people. The naval teams at Kavaratti, Androth and Minicoy are directed to assist administration.
The district administration declared a holiday for educational
institutions coming under Kanayannur and Kochi taluks on Friday. Holidays were also declared for educational institutions in Kannur , Kasargod, Thrissur (Kodungallur and Chavakkad taluks) and Malappuram (Ponnani, Tirur and Tirurangadi). MG University has postponed all examinations scheduled for November 1.