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. It earlier caused havoc in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep islands.
Ahmedabad/Mumbai : After dumping rains in Mumbai, Cyclone Ockhi moved closer to Gujarat today and the landfall was likely near Surat, as several top leaders were forced to cancel their rallies in the poll-bound state which experienced showers. 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. It earlier caused havoc in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep islands, reports PTI.
Due to the impact of the cyclone, Mumbai and its suburbs experienced rains since the morning, but it subsided by the afternoon even as hailstorm lashed some sections of the Munbai-Pune Expressway. The country’s financial capital had also experienced showers last night.
As Gujarat remained on alert, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to BJP workers to extend a helping hand to those that would be likely hit by the cyclone, which is expected to make a landfall around midnight tonight on the state’s southern coast in Surat.
Modi also said he is 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.
The cyclone is approaching Gujarat steadily and now lies centred in the Arabian Sea just 390 km away from Surat, said an official of the Meteorological Centre in Ahmedabad earlier in the day.
As per the latest bulletin of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone is expected to hit the coastline near Surat by midnight tonight. “It is very likely to continue to move north- northwestwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by the night of December 5,” it said.
Several districts in Gujarat received light rain since morning, even as almost the entire state experienced 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.”
According to principal secretary in the state revenue department, Pankaj Kumar, at least nine districts including Rajkot have received light showers or drizzle since this morning. Gujarat’s chief secretary J N Singh convened a video conference with the collectors of coastal districts to review their preparedness to deal with any eventuality, Kumar said.
Joint Secretary in the Union Home ministry Sanjeev Kumar Jindal said the cyclone is slowing down and would have no impact in Gujarat, where the first phase of the two-phase assembly election is due on Saturday.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out in the sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to the cyclone.