Over 5,000 shifted as Gujarat braces for cyclone

Published - December 05, 2017 10:26 pm IST - Ahmedabad

Huge waves were seen in the Arabian Sea during high tide in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Huge waves were seen in the Arabian Sea during high tide in Mumbai on Tuesday.

As Cyclone Ockhi threatened the Gujarat coast on Tuesday, more than 5,000 people were shifted to safer locations and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams deployed in vulnerable places. Fishermen were warned not to put out to sea and those out fishing were called back. Schools and colleges were shut.

“We have issued high alert in all coastal districts and taken all precautionary measures,” Gujarat’s Principal Secretary (Revenue) told media persons in Gandhinagar after Chief Secretary J.N. Singh held a review meeting with the top officials.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and top officials rushed to Surat to monitor the situation as the cyclone is likely to make landfall in South Gujarat region.

Earlier the cyclonic storm passed the Mumbai coast bringing rains in its wake but did not cause any damage to life or property, a senior civic official said in Mumbai.

Due to the impact of the cyclone, Mumbai and its suburbs received rains since Tuesday morning, but the weather eased by afternoon even as a hailstorm lashed some sections of the Munbai-Pune Expressway. The country’s financial capital also experienced showers on Monday night.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was constantly monitoring the situation in various parts of the country. “Spoke to all relevant authorities and officials. All possible assistance is being provided to those affected,” he tweeted.

Several districts in Gujarat received light rain since Tuesday morning, even as almost the entire State saw overcast skies. The IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall in most places with heavy rainfall at isolated places in Saurashtra and south Gujarat.

It has warned that when the cyclone hits the Gujarat coast, “wind speed would remain between 50 and 60 kmph and may reach up to 70 kmph in south Gujarat.”

The National Disaster Management Authority asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out to sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to the cyclone.

( With PTI inputs )

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