Cyclone Ockhi, which was set to make landfall in Surat after leaving a trail of destruction on the southern Indian coast, dissipated over the Arabian Sea, sparing the poll-bound Gujarat Wednesday.
Till Tuesday evening, there was a fear that the cyclone may hit Gujarat coast by midnight and the state administration had evacuated over 3,200 people from the coastal districts. However, the cyclone lost its strength and turned into a ‘deep depression’ when it was around 240 km from Surat.
An early morning release by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated that the cyclonic storm first turned into a ‘deep depression’, then into a ‘depression’ and finally into a ‘low pressure’ area after midnight. “The depression over east-central and adjoining north-east Arabian Sea weakened into a well-marked low pressure area over east central Arabian sea and adjoining areas of north-east Arabian Sea, north coastal Maharashtra and south coastal Gujarat early Wednesday,” the release said.
The cyclone dissipated over the sea before hitting the Gujarat coast, said IMD-Ahmedabad Regional Director Jyanata Sarkar. “The cyclone did not reach Surat at all. It dissipated into the sea before making a landfall on the southern coast. From deep depression, it became a depression, then became a well marked low pressure. Now, it is just low pressure. It may bring light to moderate rain in some parts of state today,” said Sarkar, adding it is likely to result in moderate to light rainfall at few places in the south, north and coastal areas of Saurashtra on Thursday and Friday. The rest of the state — Saurashtra and Kutch — will remain dry.
As per the IMD release, the sea condition will be rough along and off south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts during the next 12 hours. “Fishermen along and off north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 12 hours,” the IMD said.
This has, however, resulted in a huge drop in the daytime (maximum) temperature across the state. The lowest maximum temperature was recorded at Vallabhbhai Vidyanagar at 18.1 degree Celsius, followed by Surat at 18.4 and Idar at 18.8 degree Celsius respectively.
(With inputs from PTI)