Defying predictions of a Thursday morning landfall at Dahanu near Gujarat, cyclone Phyan lashed the Maharashtra coast and parts of Gujarat a day ahead.
Director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, Medha Khole told The Hindu, “The cyclone hit the land between Alibag and Mumbai around 4 p.m. It caused winds to blow at 65 to 75 kmph.”
The high alert issued to the coastal areas in South Gujarat region was withdrawn on Wednesday evening after ‘Phyan’ weakened.
The weather bureau in Gujarat, however, did not withdraw the advisory to fishermen in the coastal areas in the southern and Saurashtra regions asking them not to venture out into the sea.
The IMD’s Deputy Director-General of Meteorology (Weather Forecasting) Dr. A.B. Mazumdar said the cyclone was caused by an uncommon deep depression over the Arabian Sea. “Such an intense low pressure area is usually seen over the Bay of Bengal at this time of the year,” he said. “Maharashtra has witnessed such a cyclone in this period maybe just four or five times in the last 100 years.”
The cyclone brought rain to the whole of the State, but the winds were high and rain heavy in Konkan, north-cental Maharashtra, Goa and south Gujarat. As per the latest records, Pune city received 93.8 mm between 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday to 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Dr. Khole said that after crossing the coast, the cyclone would maintain its intensity for about six hours during which there would be heavy rain in Gujarat. The cyclone would weaken as it headed in a north-east direction and reach west Madhya Pradesh. The distribution and quantity of rain would then reduce.