Cyclone Nilofar turns severe; Gujarat on alert
The cyclonic storm 'Nilofar',which originated in the Arabian Sea, has now intensified and is likely to make a landfall on October 31 near Naliya village in Kutch district, the Meteorological Department said on Sunday.
'Nilofar' has intensified into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' and is expected to bring heavy rains in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch accompanied by high speed wind.
Officials said Gujarat administration is bracing to meet any challenge arising out of the cyclone, the second one to hit India this month after 'Hudhud', which caused large-scale devastation in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
"The severe cyclonic storm 'Nilofar' lying over west-central Arabian Sea has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm.
"It is currently positioned in west-central Arabian Sea, about 1170km south-west of Naliya village, 1230 km south- southwest of Kutch and 880km east-southeast of Oman," the department said.
"It would initially move north-northwestwards during the next 24 hours and then recurve northwestwards and cross Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by 31st October morning.
"However as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and cross the coast as severe cyclonic storm," it added.
Looking at the situation, the Met has told authorities to hoist distant warning signal No 2 on all ports.
"Due to the cyclone, we are expecting bad weather on 30th and 31st of October. There will be heavy rains in coastal region of Saurashtra and Kutch on these days. Sea will be rough to very rough. Thus, we have issued cyclone alert to the State Government," said Manorama Mohanty, Director, Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre.
Gujarat CM reviews preparations
Meanwhile, chief minister Anandiben Patel held a review meeting with top bureaucrats on Monday to draw a roadmap to deal with cyclone Nilofer.
The Gujarat government has alerted state authorities to start taking precautionary measures to tackle a severe cyclonic storm being built in the Arabian sea, which is expected to slam coastal areas of Kutch district in next few days.
“We have full preparations in place to deal with the cyclone that will hit the state. The Kutch district administration has been asked to start relocating people to safer locations,” Patel said after the review meeting.
"The Kutch region will be the most severely affected area, with the town of Naliya and its surrounding areas the most at risk. I have talked to the collectors of Porbandar, Kutch and Gir Somnath and have told them to start preparations for the storm," she added.
The state administration has also asked fishermen to not venture into the sea for a week. Cyclone Nilofer is the second large cyclonic storm to approach the Indian landmass this month, after cyclone Hudhud struck the coast of Andhra Pradesh on October 12.