Cyclone Nilofar: Weakens into depression; likely to die in Arabian Sea

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Latest: Cyclone Nilofer has fizzled out and weakened into a deep depression on Friday. Though it is moving towards Gujarat coast, it is expected to weaken further into a well-marked low pressure over the northeast Arabian Sea.

This means that the system is less likely to make a landfall, neither in Gujarat nor in Pakistan, and may die out in the Arabian Sea itself.
 

EARLIER STORIES: 

Storm makes landfall in Pak, India today; flash flooding in Oman

Pakistan and India are maintaining vigilance even as authorities downgrade the wrath of Cyclone Nilofar to a ‘Severe Tropical Storm’.

The storm surge is expected to make landfall in parts of Pakistan and India later today, with both countries maintaining emergency procedures for the next 24 hours and closing off coastal stretches.

Residents in both countries have been warned to expect heavy to very heavy rainfall today and tomorrow in the aftermath.

On Thursday evening, the Indian Meteorology Department (IMD) stated the ‘severe cyclonic’ storm, Nilofar was moving across the west-central Arabian Sea, moving northeast, about 600km southwest of Naliya (Gujarat) and 600km southwest of Karachi.

It is expected to impact the coastlines of Pakistan and India by this evening.

Pakistan on standby to evacuate 50,000

Even as the eye of the storm will come as close as 250km off the Karachi coastline, according to estimates, Tauseef Alam, told news agency AFP the storm’s “outer waves would hit Pakistani coasts.”

Strong winds, high tides and rains to southern Sindh province has forced the country’s authorities to seal the coastal belt of Sindh until November 2 as Section 144 has been imposed as a precautionary measure for Cyclone Nilofar.

The law has been imposed on the coastal belt of Karachi, Thatta, Sajawal and Badin.

Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui has appealed to the public to stay indoors when rains hit the coastline. He has also requested individuals to remain in schools, colleges or offices when the storm hit.

The Pakistan Navy, Maritime Security Agency and Coast Guard have also be asked to arrange the immediate return of fishermen from sea.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan has told officials to prepare to evacuate villages along the coast.

“We have estimated some 50,000 people might be evacuated if the need arises,” Ikhlaque Qureshi, a senior National Disaster Management Authority official, told AFP.

The authorities claimed to have vacated government buildings and schools in several areas to house the affected people there.

India evacuates 30,000

The IMD has stated Cyclone Nilofar is expected to make landfall near the Jakhau port and Naliya in Kutch.

The authority also added that Saurashtra and the Kutch region could receive up to 10 inches of rainfall, with wind speeds reducing to 50kmph as it blows across the coast.

In wake of Cyclone Nilofar, the district administration in Kutch (Gujarat) has evacuated 30,000 people living near the shore-line, across 123 villages, official sources were quoted in the press.

Similarly, about 100 families living close to the coast in Jafrabad, Amreli district have been shifted to safer locations.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has activated cyclone monitoring cells and deployed 30 ICG ships, helicopters to tackle the situation.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India issued a bulletin stating that it has deployed rescue and rehabilitation teams at various locations as the storm barrels towards the coastline of Gujarat.

In an earlier statement, the government committee said: “The National Disaster Response Force is fully geared up for rescue operations in the wake of cyclonic storm ‘Nilofar’ in Arabian Sea along Gujarat coast.”

The NDRF said that three battalions situated at Vadodara (Gujarat), Pune (Maharashtra) and Bathinda (Punjab) have been alerted for the same. Apart from this, seven rescue and relief teams are pre-positioned at Gandhidham, Dwarka, Porbandar, Veeraval, Rajkot and two teams at Bhuj in Gujarat.

Nine other NDRF teams are on standby, while boats with flood rescue equipment are also being sent to meet challenges, the release added.

Meanwhile, Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel have been also asked to stay alert and check any suspicious activity or movement on the border so that no infiltration can take place during the bad weather conditions.

All educational institutes have been asked to keep two days holiday, while all coastal operations have ceased until Saturday.
According to IMD, Nilofar could also affect Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep.

Flooding in Oman; UAE unaffected

Meanwhile, Oman, which has been experiencing heavy rainfall across parts of the coastline due to Cyclone Nilofar’s trajectory the past 24 hours, has also witnessed in severe flooding in the wadis near Quriyat.

Oman’s Public Authority of Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) reported on two people trapped in a flash flood in a wadi in Quriyat, who were able to escape their car and ‘climb one of the rocky hills’ until the rescue team reached them and transported them to safety.
 
PACDA has also confirmed the two individuals are in good health.

However, the government authority has issued a safety alert for this weekend, warning there is flooding in pockets of the Sultanate and people should not run the risk in attempting to cross those areas.

The UAE, which was not directly impacted by Cyclone Nilofar, experienced accelerated winds on Wednesday and Thursday; however, the weather pattern has returned to normal according to the country’s National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology.

A spokesperson further added: “The marine warning should be lifted by Friday afternoon and sea goers should be able to return to the Arabian Sea and the Oman Sea; however, we do advise them to continue to update themselves on the weather before venturing out.”

While Friday and Saturday will show signs of hazy weather, Sunday will see the country cool off from north-westerly winds that could see the Mercury dip by two to three degrees Celsius.

Rains in Oman; Pak seals coast; India deploys reserves

Rain drenched parts of Oman yesterday as Cyclone Nilofar veered off the coastline to take its fury in the direction of Pakistan and India, with waves in the deep sea reaching as high as 35 feet.

Parts of Masirah Island, Quriyat, Al Sharqiyah experienced heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in the early morning hours, with the skies clearing long enough for a rainbow to welcome residents.

Pakistan disaster management team issues emergency checklist

Minor flooding was also reported in parts of Oman, as wadis overflowed with rainwater, even as the might of the Grade Two storm kicked up speeds that reached 175kmph, reaching 390km off the coast of Masirah Island, before veering northeast to move away from mainland.

Oman’s Met department has stated rains will continue through Thursday, also enveloping Muscat.

A man rides on a horse past a grounded fishing boat as people take pictures while visiting Karachi's Clifton beach October 28, 2014.  According to local media, Pakistan authorities closed coastal belt due to the tropical cyclone Nilofar which has gained further strength as it continue to move inwards. (REUTERS)

Pakistan shuts coastal belt

The coastal belt of Sindh has been closed until November 2 as Section 144 has been imposed as a precautionary measure for Cyclone Nilofar, even as authorities state the wrath of the storm will lessen by the time it reaches Pakistan.

The law has been imposed on the coastal belt of Karachi, Thatta, Sajawal and Badin.

Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui has appealed to the public to stay indoors when rains hit the coastline. He has also requested individuals to remain in schools, colleges or offices when the storm hit.

The Pakistan Navy, Maritime Security Agency and Coast Guard have also be asked to arrange the immediate return of fishermen from sea.

People visit Karachi beach to watch high tide following Cyclone Nilofer on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in Pakistan. According to the country's meteorological office, the sea conditions along Pakistan's coast would be rough to very rough from Wednesday to Friday. (AP)

The commissioner directed departments concerned to ensure strict implementation of Section 144, banning bathing and swimming in the sea as well as making beach safety arrangements more effective.

Meanwhile, Thatta Deputy Commissioner Agha Shahnawaz Babar has also enforced emergency in the coastal areas.

In its last update on Wednesday evening, Pakistan’s Met Department had positioned the ‘Very Severe Tropical Cyclone Nilofar’ about 800 km in southwest of Karachi and 680 km south of Gawadar.

It stated: “The Cyclone would continue to move in the same direction (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat) with a speed of 14kmph in next 24 hours.

“At present the estimated central pressure of Cyclone is 996 hPa [hectopascal] and the average sustained wind speed around is 90-100 knots up to 110 knots. The cyclone would start weakening on Thursday afternoon and is very likely to cross the adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat as a cyclonic storm or depression with a wind speed of 70-80kmph, gusting to 100kmph on Friday night.”

A Pakistani lifeguard sits on a deserted beach in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. The authorities in Pakistan closed a coastal belt due to the approaching tropical cyclone Nilofar which is likely to hit the country’s coastal areas on Wednesday. (AP)

The met office further stated that widespread rain and thundershowers, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfalls is expected in Lower Sindh, including Karachi and coastal areas of Balochistan on Thursday and Friday.

India readies emergency crew


In wake of Cyclone Nilofar, the district administration in Kutch (Gujarat) has launched evacuating procedures for the 30,000 people living near the shore-line, across 123 villages, official sources were quoted in the press.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India issued a bulletin stating that it has deployed rescue and rehabilitation teams at various locations as Cyclone Nilofar barrels towards the coastline of Gujarat.

In an earlier statement, the government committee said: “The National Disaster Response Force is fully geared up for rescue operations in the wake of cyclonic storm ‘Nilofar’ in Arabian Sea along Gujarat coast.”

Pakistani fishermen boats are called back from sea following a warning by authorities of Cyclone Nilofer’s possible impact on Pakistan coastal areas, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in Pakistan. According to the country's meteorological office, the sea conditions along Pakistan's coast would be rough to very rough from Wednesday to Friday. (AP)


The NDRF said that three battalions situated at Vadodara (Gujarat), Pune (Maharashtra) and Bathinda (Punjab) have been alerted for the same. Apart from this, seven rescue and relief teams are pre-positioned at Gandhidham, Dwarka, Porbandar, Veeraval, Rajkot and two teams at Bhuj in Gujarat.

Nine other NDRF teams are on standby, while boats with flood rescue equipment are also being sent to meet challenges, the release added.

Rain, 175kmph winds hit Oman

As Oman, Pakistan and India track the progress of Cyclone Nilofar across the Arabian Sea, the intensity of the storm system has worsened with wind speeds now notching up to 200kmph, according to authorities.

The ‘Very Severe Tropical Cyclone’ as it is now being categorised, has been notched up to a Grade Two weather system by Oman’s Meteorology Department, as its trajectory separates the centre of the storm to the nearest point on the coast by a mere 243 nautical miles or 450km.

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre places this as Oman’s Masirah Island, adding that the banding of the centre of the storm has increased further over the past 24 hours "to a defined 12 nautical mile [22.2km] eye... while the initial intensity has been increased to 115 knots [213kmph]".

Wind speeds are averaging up to nearly 175kmph according to Oman’s Met office, a significant increase over the past 24 hours, with the country advising all boats to return to the coast.

Oman maintains its earlier projection that Cyclone Nilofar will not make landfall in the country, but rather re-curve northeast and make its way towards Pakistan and India over the next 12 hours.

Members of  Pakistan's coast guard patrol on a Karachi beach, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 in Pakistan. Authorities in Pakistan closed a coastal belt due to the approaching tropical cyclone Nilofar which is likely to hit the country’s coastal areas on Wednesday. (AP)

 

Rains lash Oman

Storm clouds covered parts of the country, even as heavy rainfall, high winds and rough seas barrelled near the Oman coastline.

In a statement, the Met office said: “Latest weather charts indicate that the tropical Cyclone Nilofar over central Arabian Sea is still persisting and its surface wind around the story is estimated to be between 85 and 95 knots; the cyclone centre is about 510km from Oman southeast coasts.”

The statement further said: “Latest satellite pictures and numerical weather charts indicate that the cyclone will start moving in a north-easterly direction, away from Oman’s coasts and head towards Pakistan and India’s coasts.”

Seas are expected to remain very rough along the Arabian Sea and Oman Sea coasts, with moderate to heavy rain in Al Wusta and South Sharqiya and strong winds until Thursday.

The office stated earlier: “The cyclone is likely to move northwest on Tuesday and Wednesday; the centre of the cyclone is expected be between 350km to 450km from Oman’s Arabian Sea coasts at the closest.

Appeals have been made to fishermen and others to avoid venturing to the sea along the coasts of Oman.

Several residents of Oman told Emirates 24|7 that they are stocking up on emergency supplies even though the trajectory makes it unlikely that the wrath of Cyclone Nilofar will impact the mainland.

Meanwhile, the UAE’s National Center for Meterology and Seismology has confirmed the country will not be directly impacted by the cyclone.

In a statement, a spokesperson stated: “There will be no direct impact of Cyclone Nilofar on the UAE, but the country could expect accelerated winds on Wednesday and Thursday reaching up to 25 knots.

“There could also be distinct cloud cover on those days, with a possible chance of the weather pattern giving rise to convective clouds that could bring rainfall to Al Hajjar mountains and the eastern coastline of UAE.”

However, such is not the case for Pakistan and India over the next few days.

Disaster management committee readies Pakistan

Pakistan’s Met department has placed the cyclone 1,120km southwest of Karachi and 1,010km south of the port of Gawadar.

In a statement, the country’s Met office said: “The Cyclone is likely to move northward in next 24 hours with a speed of 5kmph. It would re-curve northeastwards (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat) on Wednesday.

“At present, the estimated central pressure of Cyclone is 990 hPa [Hectopascals or the standard for measuring barometric pressure] and the average sustained wind speed around is 90-100, gusting up to 110 Knots [203kmph].”

The country is bracing itself for thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall in Lower Sindh, including Karachi, the coastal areas of Balochistan from Wednesday evening to Friday.

The storm surge will be accompanied by strong gusty winds.

The Met office added: “Fishermen of Sindh and Balochistan are advised not to venture out to open sea from Wednesday to Friday. The fishermen who are already in the open sea are advised to return to coastal areas before Wednesday.”

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority has issued a checklist to ensure emergency procedures are in place over the next 48 hours, which include precautionary evacuations to higher grounds of people living in coastal areas / low lying areas near the coast or residing in huts, refraining people from swimming in the sea, warning and forecasts be issued to people, ships, ports etc. and rescue agencies be placed on alert in the likely areas of impact.

Arrangements for relief camps in respective areas are also being made functional, while emergency Operation Centres will be made operational till the termination of cyclone.

India deploys rescue teams

India, which was hit by Cyclone HudHud earlier this month, is bracing for another weather pattern to hit the country over the next few days.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India issued a bulletin stating that it has deployed rescue and rehabilitation teams at various locations as Cyclone Nilofar barrels towards the coastline of Gujarat.

In a statement, the government committee further said: “The National Disaster Response Force is fully geared up for rescue operations in the wake of cyclonic storm ‘Nilofar’ in Arabian Sea along Gujarat coast.”

The NDRF said that three battalions situated at Vadodara (Gujarat), Pune (Maharashtra) and Bathinda (Punjab) have been alerted for the same. Apart from this, seven rescue and relief teams are pre-positioned at Gandhidham, Dwarka, Porbandar, Veeraval, Rajkot and two teams at Bhuj in Gujarat.

Nine other NDRF teams are on standby, while boats with flood rescue equipment are also being sent to meet challenges, the release added.

The Indian Met Department’s update has placed the storm 1,080km southwest of Naliya, Gujarat adding: “It has intensified further and will move northwest during the next 12 hours and then gradually curve northeast and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by November 1 forenoon.

“However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and the cross the coast as a cyclonic storm.”

Under the influence of this system, the Met office is forecasting rainfall at most places on the belt, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls along the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from October 31, late evening.

Heavy rains have already hit parts of Goa and isolated places over Konkan, South Interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The heavy rainfall will continue in Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the next 48 hours.

Squally wind speeds will reach 45-55kmph gusting to 65kmph along and off Gujarat coast from October 31 evening and would reach 80-90kmph, gusting to 100kmph at time of landfall. 

A marine warning is also in place off the coast of Gujarat coast with rough to very rough seas from October 31 and would become high from the morning of November 1.

The country is bracing for minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of trees and breaking of tree branches, while coastal hutment dwellers are being moved to safer places.

Meanwhile, those travelling over the next 48 hours to and from the Gulf to Oman, India and Pakistan are advised to check with their airlines for a possible change in schedule due to the storm.

Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Indian carrier Spicejet have said they are monitoring the situation.

EARLIER REPORTS

550km from Oman; Pakistan, India get ready

The might of Cyclone Nilofar has gained momentum as it barrels down towards Oman, with a mere 550km or 320 nautical miles separating the centre of the storm to the nearest point on the coast, according to the country’s Met Department.

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre places this as Oman’s Masirah Island, adding that the centre of the storm is currently ‘a 10 nautical mile [18.5km] cloud-filled eye and deep connective feeder bands wrapped tight into the well-defined low level center’.

Wind speeds are averaging at 80 knots or nearly 150kmph, with Oman issuing a marine warning, advising all boats to return to the coast.

The current trajectory of Nilofar is critical for the country over the next 10 hours as the deep depression – upgraded to a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ – moves northwest before it is expected to re-curve northeast and make its way towards Pakistan and India.

Oman: The Oman Meteorology Department has reiterated the cyclone is not likely to make landfall, even though high winds, rainfall and rough seas are forecast over the next 24 hours.

The Met office said in a statement: “Most numerical weather predication models still forecast the cyclone to approach Al Wustah and Southern Al Sharqiah coasts without landfall.”

The office further stated: “The cyclone is likely to move northwest on Tuesday and Wednesday; the centre of the cyclone is expected to be between 350km to 450km from Oman’s Arabian Sea coast at the closest. Moderate to heavy rains likely over the governorates of Al Wusta and southern Al Sharqiya.”

The Met office also issued a marine warning, citing the Arabian Sea and the Oman Sea are expected to be 'very rough'.

It added: “The Public Authority for Civil Aviation appeals to fishermen and sea to goers to avoid venturing to the sea along the coast of Oman.”

Pakistan: Pakistan’s Met department has placed the cyclone 1,120km southwest of Karachi and 1,030km south of the port of Gawadar.

In a statement, the Met office said: “The cyclone would continue to move in northwest direction today [Tuesday] with a speed of 6kmph and is expected to re-curve northeastwards (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat) on Wednesday.

“At present the estimated central pressure of the cyclone is 990 hPa [Hectopascals or the standard for measuring barometric pressure] and the average sustained wind speed around is 90-100, gusting up to 110 Knots [203kmph].”

The country is bracing itself for thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall in Lower Sindh, including Karachi, the coastal areas of Balochistan from Wednesday evening to Friday.

The storm surge will be accompanied by strong gusty winds.

India: The Indian Met Department’s morning update has placed the storm 1,110km southwest of Naliya, Gujarat, adding: “It would move northwest during the next 12 hours and then gradually curve northeast and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by November 1 forenoon.

“However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and the cross the coast as a cyclonic storm.”

Under the influence of this system, the Met office forecasts rainfall at most places on the belt, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls along the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from October 31, late evening.

Squally wind speeds will reach 45-55kmph gusting to 65kmph along and off Gujarat coast from October 31 evening and would reach 80-90kmph, gusting to 100kmph at time of landfall.

Airlines: Those travelling over the next 48 hours to and from the Gulf to Oman, India and Pakistan are advised to check with their airlines for a possible change in schedule due to the storm. Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Indian carrier Spicejet have stated they are monitoring the situation.

October 28, AM

UAE residents planning to head to Oman over the next two days may need to alter their travel schedule as Cyclone Nilofar looms 880km off the coast of Salalah, bringing high winds and rainfall to Masirah Island and Duqm.

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has placed the cyclone 406 Nautical Miles off the coast of Masirah Island, with the Indian Meteorological Department upgrading the deep depression to a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ as it reaches off the coast of Oman with wind speeds of 150kmph.

The UAE’s National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has reiterated Cyclone Nilofar will not impact the country, but could bring ‘accelerated winds’ up to 25 knots on Wednesday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Spicejet have stated they are monitoring the situation. However, no flights have been affected as yet to Oman, India and Pakistan.

In a statement, an Etihad spokesperson said: “Etihad Airways continues to monitor the progress of Cyclone Nilofar and will modify our flight routings to circumnavigate the area if required.”

A spokesperson with NCMS told Emirates 24|7: “There will be no direct impact of Cyclone Nilofar on the UAE, but the country could expect accelerated winds on Wednesday and Thursday reaching up to 25 knots.

“There could also be distinct cloud cover on those days, with a possible chance of the weather pattern giving rise to convective clouds that could bring rainfall to Al Hajjar mountains and the eastern coastline of UAE.” 



The weather pattern could temporarily see a drop in temperatures between 2-3 degrees Celsius.

The spokesperson stated that a marine warning has also been issued for the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea.

“We are issuing a warning for rough seas for those days, with waves reaching up to seven feet in wake of the deep depression that will change to a ‘Very Severe Cyclone’ over the next few hours.”

However, the NCMS has stated following the Cyclone Nilofar’s current trajectory, it is unlikely to make landfall in mainland Oman.

In a statement issued late Monday, NCMS added: “Through the current weather maps and satellite images of synthetic plus meteorological reports from the competent regional centres, the tropical storm is currently stationed at latitude 14.8 north, longitude 62.0 east, as is currently 875km off the Omani coast, with surface wind speed and estimated about his position between 100-110kmph.”

Oman braces for rainfall


Oman’s Met office has forecast fresh winds and rainfall in Al Wusta, Dhofar and Al Sharqiyah on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Muscat is expected to receive isolated showers by the afternoon due to the formation of convective clouds over Al Hajjar mountains.

The country has also issued a marine warning, with waves expected to reach up to 13 feet in the Oman Sea.

Several residents in the country are stocking up on food, water and petrol in preparation of a possible impact to the mainland.

Abdul Kalam, a resident of Qurum, said: “A lot of our neighbours are stocking up on water and canned food. It’s just taking extra precautions. None of us have forgotten Cyclone Gonu.”

Cyclone Gonu hit the coast of Oman in June 2007, resulting in extensive damage to property and hundreds being evacuated from coastal areas.

Pakistan


Pakistan’s Met office has also issued a marine warning, in effect from Wednesday until Friday, with all coastal operations to cease as Cyclone Nilofar’s trajectory sees it spin Northeast by October 30.

In a statement, the Met office added: “Tropical Cyclone (Nilofar) in the Arabian Sea has intensified into a Severe Tropical Cyclone with an intensity of T3.5. 

“The cyclone is likely to move further west-northwest ward (towards Oman Coast) with a speed of 8kmph during next 24-36 hours, then it would re-curve northeastward (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat).”

Under the influence of this cyclone, widespread thundershowers with isolated heavy rainfall, accompanied by strong gusty winds, are expected in Lower Sindh, including Karachi and Coastal Areas of Balochistan during Wednesday (night) to Friday.

The sea conditions along Pakistan coast would be rough to very rough from Wednesday evening to Friday.

The statement added: “Fishermen of Sindh and Balochistan are advised not to venture in open sea from Wednesday to Friday. 

“The fishermen who are already in the open sea are advised to return to coastal areas before Wednesday.”

India

According to the Indian Met Department’s late evening Monday bulletin: “The very severe cyclonic storm, Nilofar would move initially north-northwest during next 24 hours and then re-curve northeast and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by October 31 morning.

“However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and cross the coast as a severe cyclonic storm.”

India’s Met office has also issued an alert for the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from the morning of October 30, with rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy showers.

Squally windspeeds reaching 45-55kmph gusting to 65kmph would commence along and off Gujarat coast from October 30 morning and would intensify to 100-110kmph gusting to 125kmph at the time of landfall.

The statement added: “Sea condition along and off Gujarat coast will be rough to very rough from October 30 morning and would become very high from afternoon.”

The Met office is estimating extensive damage to huts with thatched roofs. Minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees and flooding of escape routes.

Fishermen out at sea along and off Gujarat coast have been asked to return to coast, with a total suspension of fishing operations. Meanwhile, coastal hutment dwellers are to be moved to safer places. People in affected areas have been warned to remain indoors around landfall time.

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