Kerala on High Alert as Depression along the Coast Deepens

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Squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kmph are likely to hit the southern coasts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala during the next few days. The ruling LDF government, criticised for its alleged late response to the cyclone, has already taken emergency measures, sending SOS messages to the coast to prevent fishermen from going out to sea. "We have been informed that the depression has deepened and it is now 390 km south-southeast of Thiruvananthapuram coast". Forecast indicates rain or thundershower at many places on Tuesday and isolated heavy showers are expected over south Kerala on March 14 and across Kerala on March 15.

Warning that waves would be around 3 mts high and wind speeds would be anywhere from 40-60 kmph in the next 48 hours, the Indian Meterological Department said that it is not safe for fishermen to be out in the seas.

The State government alert comes in the backdrop of Ochki cyclone that hit the coasts of the State, neighbouring Tamilnadu and union territory of Lakshadweep in November-December a year ago, claiming the lives of several fishermen and leaving many missing.

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He added: "It's kind of been sorted out, but we're still talking about it so there is nothing to totally confirm yet". I am trying to help a lot more because I understand where I am at", he concluded.

Kerala's chief secretary Paul Antony met different departmental heads Tuesday morning to review preparations.

He asked all fishermen who ventured into the sea before the warning came into force to return immediately.

Fishermen are advised not to venture out to sea off south Kerala and south Tamil Nadu coasts, the Comorin-Maldives area, equatorial Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar, Lakshadweep area and southeast Arabian Sea till Thursday. "It will die down after 15th of March after which the fishermen can resume fishing", said director of the Indian Meteorological Department S Sudevan. It lay about 420 km southeast of Minicoy, 350 km south to southwest of Thiruvananthapuram and 290 km east to northeast of Maldives and was very likely to move north to northwestwards and intensify into a deep depression in the next 48 hours.

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