The state has been put on alert after a report by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) that a depression formed over the Arabian Sea is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm with adverse impact over Saurashtra and Kutch regions, mainly on June 13 and 14.
The Gujarat government Monday held a joint review meeting involving the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force, chaired by revenue additional chief secretary Pankaj Kumar. All these agencies have been told to deploy their personnel along the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from Tuesday.
As per an IMD bulletin released on Monday night, “The depression over Eastcentral and adjoining Southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep area is now deep depression. Early Tuesday morning, it will intensify into a cyclonic storm and severe cyclonic storm in the subsequent 24 hours. Thereafter it is very likely to move northward towards Saurashtra coast and cross between Porbandar and Mahua around Veraval and Diu as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speed 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph between June 12 midnight to June 13 early morning.”
Jayanta Sarkar, IMD regional director at Ahmedabad, said, “The deep depression over east-central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep area is moving north-northwestwards, transforming into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday and into a severe cyclonic storm subsequent by Wedesday. It is likely to move north-northwestwards during the next three days (by Thursday). It is very likely to cause adverse impact in terms of wind and rainfall over Saurashtra and Kutch, mainly on June 13 and 14.”
According to the IMD, the sea condition is likely to be rough along and off Kerala and Karnataka coasts on June 10; Lakshadweep area, along and off Kerala, Karnataka and south Maharashtra coasts on June 11; rough to very rough along and off south Gujarat and Maharashtra coasts on June 12; and very rough to high along and off Gujarat, North Maharashtra coasts and northern parts of Eastcentral Arabian Sea on June 13.
Following the IMD report, the Gujarat government also issued a warning to fishermen. “The fishermen are advised not to venture into northeast Arabian sea along and off Gujarat coast on June 12, 13 and 14. Those out in deep seas are advised return to the coast,” said Sarkar.
“In the meeting with the state government authorities, all possible safety and preventive measures were duscussed, including the deployment of NDRF, SDRF and Army personnel,” said Sarkar who was part of the meeting.
Pankaj Kumar also chaired a multi-department meeting to take stock of the situation and tackle any emergency arising out of the cyclonic activity. He urged all the departments concerned to work in close co-ordination and directed the rescue, relief and other departments to conduct a mock drill in Suarashtra and Kutch, if required.
The government also advised people to keep essential items, including drinking water, medicines and charged batteries, in stock and stay away from the sea. The wind speed is likely to be 50-60 kmph to 70 kmph over south Gujarat coast on June 12. It is likely to increase to 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph over north and south Gujarat coast on June 13 and 14.
In an advisory for Gujarat ports, Gujarat Maritime Board CEO Mukesh Kumar said, “All port users, stakeholders and agents are advised to take all necessary precautions and advise all the vessels arriving at Gujarat ports. Public Storm Warning Signals are raised to warn the public of incoming weather disturbances. Once a storm signal is raised, conditions are not yet necessarily felt in the given area.”
“Heavy to very heavy rain is likely at isolated places in the districts of Saurashtra — Gir Somnath, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Jamnagar, Dwarka and in Diu. Thunderstorm and lightning accompanied with gusty wind (40-50kmph) is very likely at isolated places in Banaskantha and Sabarkantha of North Gujarat region on June 13,” said IMD’s forecast. It said heavy rains were very likely at isolated places in Porbandar, Jamnagar, Dwarka and Kutch on June 14.
The state has been reeling under soaring mercury levels for several weeks where the maximum temperature was around 43-44 degrees Celsius at several locations.