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Gujarat escapes Cyclone Vayu, but faces heavy rainfall

The state received 4.4 mm of rainfall on a single day on Thursday, 76% more than the 2.5 mm average it receives in a day in mid-June.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2019 23:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Cyclone Vayu,Porbandar,Somnath
A portion of Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple in Gujarat’s Porbandar collapses due to Cyclone Vayu on Thursday. (ANI photo)

Cyclone Vayu changed its course Thursday and began moving away from the Gujarat coast, even as high-speed winds and heavy rain in coastal areas continued, officials said.

With a wind speed of up to 180 kmph, the cyclone lay 100 kms southwest of Porbandar on Thursday evening. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone was to hit the Gujarat coast in the afternoon.

Several districts of the state, including Gir, Somnath, Junagarh, Porbandar and Dwarka were affected because of the cyclone and witnessed heavy to extremely heavy rainfall to Saurashtra and Kutch. These areas are likely to receive heavy to extremely heavy rainfall on Friday as well.

The state received 4.4 mm of rainfall on a single day on Thursday, 76% more than the 2.5 mm average it receives in a day in mid-June.

However, the delayed onset of monsoon and the slowed progression because of the cyclone developing the next day means that Gujarat still faces a long deficiency of -78% when it comes to the total rainfall it should have received till June 13.

The cyclone will be monitored till it dissipates. “We are monitoring the movement of the cyclone. It was to hit in the morning but luckily for Gujarat, it has veered off. We get information from IMD before any cyclone makes landfall. We have called back fishermen and ensured that there is no boat sailing in the sea. All fishing boats off Gujarat coast are back in the harbor,” said DIG Coast Guard, Iqbal Singh Chauhan to news agency ANI. State authorities have already evacuated three lakh people from low-lying areas .

The low pressure system had started forming over the Arabian Sea on Sunday and intensified to become a cyclone with wind speeds of up to 100 kmph on Tuesday.

Although the cyclone brought rain to states on the western coast – Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat – it halted the progress of the monsoon.

“The cyclone will bring rains to the Western coasts, including Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Gujarat. Rainfall will also continue in Kerala, where the monsoon has already arrived. However, the interior parts of India will have to wait a little longer for the monsoons, which will resume only after cyclone Vayu fizzles out completely,” said Dr K Sathi Devi, a senior scientist at IMD.

(with agency inputs)

First Published: Jun 13, 2019 23:39 IST