The Indian Meteorological Department (Met) has withdrawn its earlier warning of severe cyclonic storm Nilofar which was expected to slam coastal areas of Gujarat on Saturday.
The storm in the Arabian Sea appears to be fizzling out and will make a landfall with substantially reduced intensity — a big relief for the locals as well as the authorities.
“The wind speed now is expected to be in the range of 60-70 km per hour but there will be heavy rainfall,” a senior official from the Gujarat government said.
However, state authorities will remain on high alert till the storm completely fizzles out.
As per the latest Met prediction, cyclonic storm Nilofar is expected to hit Gujarat on Friday as a ‘marginal cyclonic storm’, against the earlier prediction of it being ‘severe’.
The Met department’s latest bulletin predicts that the cyclone will now hit Kutch coast on the night of October 31 or early morning November 1. It has moved slightly northwards, and is now 860 km west-southwest of Naliya in Kutch.
“Apart from Kutch, including Naliya, the storm will impact other coastal towns including Veraval, Somnath, Porbandar, Okha and Dwarka near Jamnagar. We have asked all the districts collectors to take their own call to evacuate those living near the coastal areas,” DN Pandey, state relief commissioner, said.
“We will keep all preparations to deal with any eventuality,” Gujarat government spokesperson Nitin Patel said.