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Cyclone Vayu May Move Towards Gujarat Again; may hit Kutch on June 17-18

Cyclone Vayu May Move Towards Gujarat Again; may hit Kutch on June 17-18 : 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, Gujarat has been put on alert. Hours after Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that the storm posed no threat to the state as it had moved westward, cyclone Vayu is likely to recurve and hit Kutch on June 17-18.  The system will intensify into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday afternoon and a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of up to 115 kmph in the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Vayu is moving north from close to India’s southern coast, and is expected to draw moisture away from the monsoon
  • Monsoon is likely remain stalled over the next few days
  • Storm set to attain the strength of a cyclone by Tuesday morning
  • Nearly 2.8 lakh people in 500 coastal villages shifted to safer locations, as the “very severe” cyclonic storm, Vayu, headed for landfall over Saurashtra coast on Thursday afternoon
  • Cyclone Vayu is likely to recurve and hit the Kutch coast of Gujarat
  • The intensity of the cyclone is likely to get reduced
  • It may hit the coast as a cyclonic storm or a deep depression

Cyclone Vayu to recurve, may hit Kutch

Cyclone Vayu was to hit the Gujarat coast on June 13, but it changed course on the intervening night of June 12 and 13. It skirted the Gujarat coast, affecting Gir, Somnath, Diu, Junagarh and Porbandar.

“Vayu is likely to recurve on June 16 and hit Kutch on June 17-18,” M. Rajeevan, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, told PTI. The intensity of the very severe cyclonic storm is also likely to reduce, Mr. Rajeevan said, adding that it may hit the coast as a cyclonic storm or a deep depression. He said the Gujarat government has been alerted about the possible recurvature of the cyclonic storm.

“A heavy rain warning has been issued for Saurashtra andKutch 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 here.

With the warning of heavy rainfall in parts of Gujarat, the state government has decided to deploy NDRF personnel in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from Tuesday morning. The government will also put the Army, the Navy and the Coast Guard on alert.

Dr. K Sathi Devi, a scientist at the IMD said, “The deep depression is currently away from the coast and travelling north-northwestwards. It is being closely monitored by IMD and might make landfall in Gujarat, but even if it does not, it is close enough to the landmass that the impact of the cyclone will be felt along the Western coast.”

She further added, under the influence of the low-pressure system, monsoon advancement will be delayed once it intensifies into a cyclonic storm. Monsoon hit Kerala on Saturday after a week-long delay.

Devi also said, “When such an intense low-pressure system forms, it pulls in all the moisture-bearing winds towards it, changing the course of the monsoons. Because of the changes in the wind directions, most of the rain from the southwest monsoon will be over the oceans and some areas in the western coast.”

Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, meteorology and climate change at Skymet said, “The cyclonic storm forming over the Arabian Sea will bring heavy rainfall to the Western coastal areas. But, it has affected the progress of monsoon, which was delayed anyway this year. By now, it should have reached Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The monsoon rains in the interior of the peninsula should pick up after about 48 hours when the cyclonic storm moves towards Gujarat.”

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into Southeast Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep area, along the Kerala and Karnataka coasts on Tuesday and the east-central Arabian Sea and along the Maharashtra Coast on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Also, fishermen have been advised to not venture into the Northeast Arabian Sea and along the Gujarat coast on June 12 and 13. Those who are out in deep sea areas have also been advised to return to the coast.