Severe cyclonic storm 'Maha' is expected to make landfall on the Gujarat coast near the Union Territory of Diu on Thursday, and will cause rainfall in parts of Maharashtra and Goa over the next two days.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) was on Tuesday quoted by reports as saying that Cyclone Maha, reportedly named by Oman, was forming over the east-central and west-central areas of the Arabian Sea, adding that it is likely to move rapidly towards the east-northeast while weakening further. The cyclone was initially categorised as an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm'.
"Parts of Konkan, central Maharashtra, Marathwada and Goa may witness some rainfall till 7 November, as a result of the cyclonic storm. Isolated places in central Maharashtra and Marathwada may witness thunderstorm and lightning," an IMD bulletin said.
'Maha' is expected to hit the Gujarat coast between the Union Territory of Diu and Porbandar, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70-80 kilometres per hour, gusting to 90 kilometres per hour, by the early hours of Thursday, PTI reported.
Heavy to very heavy rains may also be witnessed at isolated places over Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Thursday. The IMD has issued an advisory for fisherfolk to not venture into the sea along and off the Gujarat coast and adjoining north Maharashtra coast, north Andaman sea, and southeast and east-central Bay of Bengal.
Earlier on Tuesday, the 'very severe cyclonic storm' was reportedly hovering around 650 kilometres west-southwest of Porbandar and 700 kilometres west-southwest of Veraval in the Arabian sea. It is likely to weaken into a cyclonic storm before it makes landfall on Thursday.
"It is very likely to move east-northeastwards with rapid weakening. It is very likely to cross the Gujarat coast around Diu as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70-80 kilometres per hour gusting to 90 kilometres per hour around the morning hours of 7 November," an IMD bulletin said.
Cyclone Maha is also expected to bring "heavy to very heavy rains" in isolated places in Gujarat when it makes landfall in the state. "Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places in Bhavnagar, Surat, Bharuch, Anand, Ahmedabad, Botad and Vadodara when 'Maha' is expected to make landfall," it said.
The Gujarat government has reportedly requisitioned 15 additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) while the Indian Navy is also prepared for an emergency situation. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said though the cyclone was weakening, the government was taking all the necessary steps to prevent any loss to life or property.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed ongoing preparations. "PM @narendramodi chaired a meeting in which the situation arising due to pollution in various parts of Northern India was discussed. PM also reviewed the situation arising due to cyclone conditions in parts of western India," the PMO tweeted.
The chief minister added that the government had taken all the necessary steps in view of the approaching cyclone. "A total of 30 teams of the NDRF and 15 teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in various parts of Gujarat along with teams of doctors and nurses. District collectors have been asked remain alert to tackle any emergency," he said. He said directions have been issued to shift people to safer places wherever needed.
Meanwhile, India Today reported that another cyclone, Bulbul, was in the process of forming off the Bay of Bengal. The report added that while the impact of the cyclone on India is unclear at the moment, IMD has predicted that the storm could head towards India's eastern coast.
PTI reported that with the depression set to intensify into a cyclone and trigger widespread rainfall, the Odisha government on Tuesday put 15 of the state's 30 districts on alert to deal with a possible flood-like situation. It is likely to intensify into a deep depression shortly and into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday, IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, adding, chances of the cyclone hitting the Odisha coast are very low.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Nov 06, 2019 10:24:39 IST