Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government requested the Centre on Sturday to deploy helicopters of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard for the search and rescue of missing fishermen, mostly from Kanyakumari, in the wake of cyclone Ockhi.
Chief minister K. Palaniswami made the request as he discussed the situation with Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
Singh had called up the chief minister and sought details on the damage caused by the the cyclone, an official release said.
Palaniswami told Singh that Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli had suffered the worst damage, and detailed the relief work being carried out in “full swing” there, it said.
Further, most of the fishermen who had ventured out to sea were rescued by the state fisheries department and the Coast Guard, he said.
“The chief minister requested (Singh) that the Coast Guard and Navy should continue assisting the state government in swiftly rescuing the fishermen who have not returned so far, and that helicopters of Coast Guard and Navy should be deployed for this purpose,” the release said.
Singh assured the AIADMK leader that the Centre would provide the assistance required to rescue the fishermen, it said.
Meanwhile, DMK working president M. K. Stalin wrote to defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the issue of rescuing the stranded fishermen.
In his letter, Stalin, also Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, urged her to direct the Coast Guard to search and rescue “thousands of fishermen fighting for their lives in the mid sea, so as to prevent further loss of lives due to the Ockhi cyclone”.