Cyclone Okchi Not A National Disaster: Centre

Over 74 people lost their lives and as many as 214 went missing when cyclone ockhi struck Tamil Nadu and Kerala last month - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: The Union government on Friday refused to declare, as a "national calamity", Cyclone Ockhi in which 74 people lost their lives and as many as 214 went missing when it struck Tamil Nadu and Kerala last month.

However, it acknowledged the cyclone as "rare and extraordinary" which turned into lethal cyclonic storm from deep depression within six hours.

"We can't declare it as national calamity as rules don't allow and the government has its own compulsions. However, the government has recognised it as a disaster of severe nature," said Home Minister Rajnath Singh said while responding to a debate in Lok Sabha over recent natural calamities across the country in view of the cyclone.

He also ruled out any enquiry into the alleged delay in issuing alerts, saying all the standard protocols were followed while issuing alerts.

"The Met Dept had issued a warning on November 29 itself and bulletins were issued after every three hours. It was a rare storm which developed from deep depression to lethal cyclonic storm in only six hours," Rajnath Singh said.

He added that alerts were issued and fishermen were warned 24 hours before.

Rajnath Singh said that a cyclonic storm which has a peculiar behavior cannot be predicted earlier.

"Whatever alert was available, the state was informed," he said assuring the house that there was no delay in bringing about rescue efforts.

Rajnath Singh also refuted the opposition's allegations that the government discriminated against Kerala and Tamil Nadu by deploying more National Disaster Relief Force teams in Gujarat.

"No need of any enquiry. This government can't be so inhuman. Teams were deployed as per the demand of state governments," he said.

IANSas many as 214 went missing when it struck Tamil Nadu and Kerala last month

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