Cyclone Vayu to intensify into 'very severe' storm as it moves towards Gujarat; Mumbai likely to have moderate rains

Cyclone Vayu, which developed from a deep depression off the coast of Lakshadweep late on Monday night, is heading towards Saurashtra in Gujarat and is likely to intensify into a 'very severe storm' by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. However, the cyclone is unlikely to affect Mumbai heavily except for bringing moderate spells of rainfall over the next two days.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that Cyclone Vayu is likely to hit the coast of Gujarat on Thursday morning, after bringing widespread rain across the western coast of the country. The storm is likely to pack winds up to 135 kilometres per hour on Thursday.

The IMD has issued an Orange alert for Cyclone Vayu, reports said, adding that while the weather forecast agency doesn't expect the storm to cause damage on land, it has advised fisherfolk in Lakshadweep, Kerala and Karnataka against venturing into the sea till 13 June. Ports have also been directed to flag a danger signal.

The storm, currently around 540 kilometres south-southwest from Mumbai is likely to move northwards as it gradually intensifies. Cyclone Vayu is likely to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around the Veeraval and Diu region, IMD said.

The Gujarat government has deployed 15 teams of NDRF personnel in Saurashtra and Kutch from Tuesday morning. The Vijay Rupani-led government is also expected to keep the Army, the Navy and the Coast Guard on standby, PTI reported.

"We have alerted all district collectors of coastal Gujarat to take immediate steps keeping in mind the likelihood of a cyclone," Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue, Pankaj Kumar told reporters.

"Besides, we have called a meeting of all the defense forces. We have decided to deploy 15 teams of NDRF in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from tomorrow morning. We have asked the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard to remain ready to help the state in any untoward situation," he said, adding that the government is monitoring the situation along with the MeT department and ISRO.

The IMD said that the severe cyclonic storm is likely to cause heavy rains and winds in the coastal districts of Saurashtra, like Bhavnagar, Amreli, Junagadh, Jamangar, Porbandar, Dwarka and Kutch.

 Cyclone Vayu to intensify into very severe storm as it moves towards Gujarat; Mumbai likely to have moderate rains

Representational image. PTI

The arrival of Cyclone Vaayu has brought the likelihood of much-needed respite from the intense heatwave that has gripped several parts of the country over the last month.

On Monday night, Mumbai saw spells of rain which are expected to continue over the next few days. The eastern and central suburbs of the city are likely to receive heavy rain due to Cyclone Vaayu.

"Amid all the warnings, the cyclonic storm has sped up the arrival of the rains in the entire Maharashtra region, prompting downpour in drought-affected regions as well. In the last two days, the Marathwada region has received has heavy showers, with Aurangabad and Jalna receiving its first pre-monsoon rains. Light rains were also received in northern Maharashtra and towards western Mahabaleshwar region," Times Now reported.

However, some reports also quoted the IMD as saying that Cyclone Vaayu might result in delaying the onset of monsoon in the western regions of the country.

"Since Vaayu is moving north from close to India's southern coast, it is expected to draw moisture away from the monsoon, which is likely to remain stalled over the next few days," The Times of India reported.

The report also quoted D Sivananda Pai, head of the IMD's long-range forecasting as saying, "Progress of the monsoon seems unlikely till 15-16 June because the cyclone will drag moisture away. It may move a bit through northeast India but major progress isn't expected in that region too."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2019 10:14:07 IST