The defence forces and other agencies involved in rescue operation after Cyclone Ockhi battered southern India saved 845 lives, but 661 fishermen were still missing, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
A central team is visiting the fishing villages devastated by cyclone Ockhi in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The team, headed by Vipin Mallik, a senior official in the Union home ministry, will visit the two states in three groups and assess the damage.
The Centre has sanctioned an advance release of ₹133 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for relief activities to help the victims of Cyclone Ockhi in Kerala.
The amount would be transferred to the State immediately, Additional Secretary in the Union Home Ministry Bipin Mallick who heads the Central team visiting the State said.
He was speaking to media persons after meeting Ockhi affected fisher families in Vizhinjam. He said the search operations for the missing fishermen would continue. Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force have not stopped search and rescue operations, he said.