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Cyclone Ockhi weakens to deep depression, spares Gujarat

An election rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Surat was, however, cancelled due to inclement weather.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2017 14:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Cyclone Okchi,Prime Minister,Narendra Modi
Aerial view of flooded Shivaji Park following heavy rain triggered by cyclone Okchi in Mumbai on Tuesday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Cyclone Ockhi spared Gujarat after it weakened into a deep depression over the Arabian Sea but the weather office said it may bring light to moderate rain in most parts of the poll-bound state for the next two days.

Jayanta Sarkar, the director of the Meteorological Centre in Ahmedabad, said the cyclone that was supposed to hit the western state dissipated into the sea before making a landfall on the southern coast.

“From deep depression, it became a depression, then became a well-marked low pressure. Now, it is just low pressure. It may bring light to moderate rain in some parts of the state today,” Sarkar said.

The state was earlier put on alert in view of the impending cyclone that left a trail of destruction in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep. It passed the Mumbai coast on Tuesday and brought rains but there was no loss of life or damage to property.

Schools and colleges in Surat remained closed on Wednesday and an election rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was cancelled due to the inclement weather.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in an early morning release that the sea condition would be rough along and off south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts during the next 12 hours.

“Fishermen along and off north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 12 hours,” it said.

Residents of 29 villages in Surat have moved away from the shore and 7000 agariyas or salt pan workers were shifted to safer places from coastal areas such as Bharuch and Valsad in south Gujarat.

Chief minister Vijay Rupani cancelled his election campaign in Rajkot and rushed to Surat late on Tuesday night and held meetings with the concerned departments to take stock of their preparedness.

The state government deployed teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in several parts of south Gujarat and Saurashtra. The government also alerted the Indian Air Force, Coast Guard and Indian Navy.

The government has also issued an advisory in view of Cyclone Ockhi and warned of a “rapid” rise in the water level of rivers in parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The water resources ministry asked authorities in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha to ensure “sufficient vigil” in coastal areas for the next three days as the path of a depression developing in the Bay of Bengal “is not yet well- established”.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 11:57 IST