Storm warning: Kerala on high alert after depression in Arabian Sea deepens

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Fishermen, especially in South Kerala, have been warned not to venture into the seas for the next two days as the depression to the south of Kanyakumari has deepened.

The well-marked low-pressure area over Equatorial Indian Ocean has intensified into a depression 390 km South-South-West of Thiruvananthapuram and is on course for another round of strengthening.

The IMD on Tuesday said that the depression over southeast Arabian Sea adjoining equatorial Indian Ocean moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 20 kmph. The government has directed the Coastal taluk control rooms to function 24*7 till March 15.

The Chief Minister also called for a top level meeting to be attended by authorities such as chief secretary Paul Antony, state police chief Lokanath Behera, fisheries principal secretary B Sreenivas, Met director S Sudevan and other officials.

The sea will turn rough in this period and therefore fishermen have been warned from going out, IMD said.

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Squally winds speed reaching 45- to 55 km/hr gusting to 65 km/hr is very likely over Comorin area and along and off South Tamil Nadu-South Kerala coasts today and tomorrow.

The department has forecast isolated heavy rainfall and thundershower in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Lakshadweep till Thursday. He said the warning for fishermen will be in force till Thursday.

The fresh alert comes hours after the state government on Monday night asked officials to ensure return of fishermen engaged in deep-sea fishing in view of the weather system.

With the sea likely to be very rough from Comorin to Maldives and over Lakshadweep and adjoining southeast Arabian sea, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off the Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep coasts in the next three days, starting on Tuesday.

However, the government along the the State Disaster Management Committee have issued early warnings and are taking measures to safeguard the coastal areas this time.