Thiruvananthapuram: The UDF delegation demanded a special package to help Ockhi victims while meeting the Central team which is on a tour of the state to access the damage caused by the cyclone. The delegation opined that lack of basic facilities to adopt emergency measures in coastal areas when natural disasters like tsunami strike increased the damage caused by cyclone Ockhi. UDF representative team under the leadership of KPCC president M.M. Hassan met Bipin Malik who headed the team that came to Kerala.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala talked to Bipin Mallik who is leading the Central team over the phone. He could not come with the rest of them as he went to visit the families of children who died in the boat accident in Changarakulam. He also reiterated the demand for announcing Ockhi cyclone as a national disaster. Mr Hassan later told reporters that even a simple thing like raising a red flag to give out a warning of an impending disaster failed. They asked the state government and Central government to jointly announce a package to build a sea wall.
Mr Hassan who said that the lack of coordination with central and state government were resulting in such disaster also wanted steps to give timely warning about such disasters using modernnews broadcasting media. The UDF team also pointed out that the coast guard only has permission to go up to 12 nautical miles into the sea to carry out rescueoperations, and suggested that amendments must be made to such rules to make it more efficient. The UDF team consisted of former ministers Shibu Baby John and V Surendran Pillai, former member of state planning board and CMP leader C P John, Muslim League leader Bheemapally Rashid, forward block state president Ram Mohan, MLAs V S Sivakumar, and M Vincent.