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Cyclone near Gujarat coast weakens
September 24, 2006 19:14 IST
The cyclone alert along the Gujarat coastline has been lowered following indications that it had weakened, officials said in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
"The cyclone has weakened into a deep depression. It is stationary 280 km south-west off the coast. We have lowered the alert mode," Gujarat Met Director J M Motwal told PTI.
Nearly 12,000 people from Kutch and Porbandar districts, including employees of three major ports, were shifted to safer places on Saturday night, as the cyclone was likely to hit Nalia (in Kutch) early Sunday morning, officials said.
"However, the weather over Kutch region has cleared. The situation in Kandla (in Kutch) has improved since Sunday morning, as the cyclone has weakened and moved ahead," officials said.
Port officials said if the situation remained clear then the port functioning that was suspended since Saturday noon could be resumed by Sunday evening.
A senior official of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority said that they had downgraded the alert as the cyclone had weakened. GSDMA, CEO Rajesh Kishore said that numerous employees of the major ports, that suspended operations on Saturday, would return on Sunday.
Though the alert mode has been lowered meteorological and coastal agencies have warned fishermen not to venture into the sea till the weather clears up completely.
The Vice President of Gujarat Fishermen Association Jivanbhai Jungi has asked the authorities of the Indian Coast Guard to send its high speed ship for establishing contact with about 1800 fishermen, who are trapped along with 310 boats, in the middle of the sea.
Deployment of helicopters has not helped in establishing contacts with the fishermen, Jungi said. These fishermen had gone far into the sea and were not aware of any cyclone threat or depression.
Jungi said fishermen carry radios along with them, so announcements being made on air stations, can help in conveying the messages of returning to the ports, Jungi said. Of the 310 boats trapped in the sea, 180 boats are from Veraval, 96 boats from Porbandar, 26 boats from Wankabara and 8 boats from Mangrol.
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