KOCHI: Two bodies were recovered, one off Vypeen coast and the other off Lakshadweep during the operations by various agencies including Coast Guard and Marine Enforcement while 250 fishermen including 41 Keralites landed safely at Kochi on Sunday. Revenue officials said 146 fishers are still missing. A total of 22 boats that set sail from Kochi and stranded in the sea due to cyclone Ockhi returned to Thoppumpady harbour. The fishermen who returned in these boats included 189 from Tamil Nadu, 14 from Assam, five from Odisha and one from AP. All of them were given first aid and sent to their native places, said a release from the joint operations centre which is co-ordinating relief.
The authorities are yet to trace the location of about 28 out of the 120 vessels, which set sail from the Thoppumpady harbour days before the cyclone’s onset. “All of these boats, which are on a multi-days fishing expedition, may be located off the Maharashtra coast. We have information about the rest of the 92 boats and not about these 28 boats,’’ said S. Mahesh, fisheries deputy director, Kochi.
It is estimated that these boats can carry around 300 fishermen. Meanwhile, the process to ensure that the coast that bore the brunt of the waves’ fury remains disease-free continued on Sunday. Around 22 health workers visited 319 houses in Chellanam and identified four damaged houses in Ward 13. They also distributed ORS packets and sprayed bleaching powder and spotted 37 damaged septic tanks. In Malippuram, health workers visted 150 houses and undertook relief measures. They were assisted by Kudumbasree and rural employment guarantee programme workers. In Vypeen a total of 1,144 houses were damaged by the waves. They are being covered under the relief operations.