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Cyclone Ockhi won’t be termed national disaster

IANS | Thiruvananthapuram |

Cyclone Ockhi, which has caused widespread damage in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts, will not be termed a national disaster, Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons said on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Kerala government decided to approach the Centre for declaring Ockhi a national disaster.

“There is no provision to declare this as a national calamity. The Centre will provide funds. If needed, more funds will be allocated,” Alphons said here.

Alphons held a meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other cabinet colleagues earlier in the day to discuss the rescue and rehabilitation operations.

The cyclone has claimed the lives of 10 people while 115 were still reported missing.

According to Vijayan, 395 fishermen were saved in a biggest-ever joint rescue operation. The total number of rescued fishermen so far is 475.

“This was possible only perfect coordination between various rescue agencies,” the Chief Minister said.