The “very severe cyclonic storm” Maha over the Arabian Sea is rapidly weakening and is expected to hit Gujarat coast near Diu as a cyclonic storm early on November 7, according to the India Meteorological Department.
Coastal districts of Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Surat, Bharuch, Anand, Ahmedabad, Botad, Porbandar and Union Territories of Daman and Diu have been put on alert.
“Maha is weakening rapidly, making it almost certain to hit Gujarat coast as nothing more than a cyclonic storm. It is very likely to cross Gujarat coast around Diu with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph during morning hours of November 7,” said Jayanta Sarkar, IMD regional director.
The very severe cyclonic storm is hovering around 650 km west-southwest of Porbandar and 700 kms west-southwest of Veraval in the Arabian Sea.
“It is very likely to move east-northeastwards with rapid weakening. It is very likely to cross Gujarat coast around Diu as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph around the morning hours of November 7,” an IMD bulletin said.
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. 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. The CM 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 in Kutch. He said directions have been issued to shift people to safer places wherever needed.
Light to moderate rainfall is likely at most places while heavy to very heavy rain is expected on November 6 over Saurashtra, including Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Porbandar, Rajkot along with Surat and Bharuch in the south and Anand and Ahmedabad in the central parts of the state, the IMD said.
On November 7, isolated heavy to very heavy rain may occur over Bhavnagar, Surat, Bharuch, Anand, Ahmedabad, Botad and Vadodara.
Expected damages over the coastal districts include damage to thatched houses or huts, sea water inundation over low laying areas after erosion of broken embankments, partial damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of tree branches, major damage to Kutcha and some damage to pucca roads, breaking of tree branches, uprooting of trees and damage to coastal crops.
(With PTI inputs)