As per the latest prediction of the weather department, cyclonic storm Nilofar is expected to hit Gujarat on the night of October 31 as a “marginal cyclonic storm”, against the earlier prediction of it being “severe”.
“Nilofar has weakened and is expected to hit Gujarat as marginal cyclonic storm only. Earlier it was predicted that it will make landfall on forenoon of November 1. But now it seems that it will hit the Kutch coast on the night of October 31 or the wee hours of November 1,” said the state relief commissioner D N Pandey.
According to Met department, Nilofar, categorised as very severe cyclonic storm over west-central Arabian Sea, has moved slightly northwards. It is now 860 km west-southwest of Naliya in Kutch.
“However as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and cross the coast as marginal cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph,” said a bulletin issued by the weather department.
Pandey said the storm would bring heavy rains. “It is expected that rains would start in the morning on October 31 with winds upto 45 kmph. Kutch would get heavy to very heavy rains, between 2 to 10 inches. Rains are also expected in many other parts of the state,” he said at a press conference.
“Apart from Kutch, including Naliya, the storm will impact other coastal towns including Veraval, Somnath, Porbandar, Okha and Dwarka near Jamnagar. We have asked all the districts collectors to take their own call to evacuate those living near the coastal areas,” said Pandey.
“The state fisheries department on Wednesday told us that all the fishing boats which had gone into sea have returned. As of now none of our boats are in the sea,” he added.
Three additional teams of National Disaster Relief Force have been deployed in the state. “Apart from nine teams already deployed at various places, we have deployed three more teams on Wednesday for Kutch, Una and Dwarka. We are also taking help of Indian Space Research Organisation for establishing emergency communication system,” said Pandey.