Rainfall in Gujarat (Photo: Representational/PTI)
Gujarat has been put on alert following IMD prediction of the deep depression in the Arabian Sea developing into a severe cyclonic storm and causing heavy rainfall in the coastal areas in the coming days, a senior official said Monday. With the warning of a heavy rainfall in parts of Gujarat, the state government has decided to deploy NDRF personnel in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from on Tuesday morning. The government will also put the Army, the Navy and the Coast Guard on alert.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning of heavy rains with winds blowing at the speed of over 110 kms on June 13 and 14 in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch. It has also advised fishermen against venturing into the sea in the next few days while ports have been directed to flag a danger signal.
"A heavy rain warning has been issued for Saurashtra and Kutch on June 13 and 14 due to the depression in the Arabian Sea which will turn into a severe cyclonic storm," state meteorological department director Jayanta Sarkar told reporters in Chennai.
After the weather warning, the government convened a high-level meeting in which it decided to deploy 15 teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) immediately. "We have alerted all district collectors of coastal Gujarat to take immediate steps keeping in mind the likelihood of a cyclone," Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue, Pankaj Kumar told reporters.
"Besides, we have called a meeting of all the defense forces. We have decided to deploy 15 teams of NDRF in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from tomorrow morning. We have asked the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard to remain ready to help the state in any untoward situation," he said, adding that the government is monitoring the situation along with the MeT department and ISRO.
On Monday, the depression over south-east adjoining Lakshadweep and east-central Arabian Sea, moved northwards with a speed of about 31 kmph. It lay centered at 8.30 am on Monday near latitude 12.5N and longitude 71.0E over east-central and adjoining south-east Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep area, about 240 km northwest of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep), 760 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 930 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat), a release of the MeT department said.
It is very likely to intensify further into a deep depression during the next six hours, into a cyclonic storm during the subsequent 24 hours and into a severe cyclonic storm thereafter. It is likely to move north-northwestwards during next 72 hours, it said. "It is very likely to cause an adverse impact in terms of wind and rainfall over Saurashtra and Kutch, mainly on June 13 and 14," the release said.
Gujarat is at present reeling under severe heat wave as the maximum temperature in major cities, including Ahmedabad, has been over 43 degrees Celsius since last week of May.
Sarkar said the severe cyclonic storm is likely to cause heavy rains and winds in the coastal districts of Saurashtra, like Bhavnagar, Amreli, Junagadh, Jamangar, Porbandar, Dwarka and also Kutch.
"We have asked the state government to issue a warning to fishermen that they should not venture into the sea and have also asked those who are in sea to come back immediately. We have also asked all the ports to display the danger signal number 1," he said. The setting of monsoon will be further delayed in Gujarat after the cyclonic storm, he added.
The monsoon usually sets the state around June 15. But as it got late to arrive in Kerala this year, it was expected to be delayed by a week in Gujarat. However, the cyclone could disturb its advancement and further delay the monsoon, another official said.