The very severe cyclonic storm 'Maha' might weaken further into a cyclonic storm before hitting the Gujarat coast near Union Territory of Diu on Thursday and is likely to bring 'heavy to very heavy rains' at isolated places in the state along with gusty winds at the speed of up to 90 kmph, Met department said on Tuesday.
As per the latest prediction by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the very severe cyclonic storm is hovering around 650 km west-southwest of Porbandar and 700 km west-southwest of Veraval in the Arabian sea.
"It is very likely to move east-northeastwards with rapid weakening. It is very likely to cross Gujarat coast around Diu as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph around the morning hours of November 7," an IMD bulletin said.
The cyclone would bring light to moderate rains at most places and 'heavy to very heavy downpour' at some places on November 6.
"Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places in Bhavnagar, Surat, Bharuch, Anand, Ahmedabad, Botad and Vadodara on November 7 when 'Maha' is expected to make a landfall," it said.
The cyclone is likely to cross Gujarat on November 7 morning with a wind speed of 70 to 80 kmph (Kilomteres per Hour).
"There are chances that the cyclone would further weaken before hitting the coast," said MeT Centre Director Jayanta Sarkar.
Meanwhile, the state government has already requisitioned 15 additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) while Indian Navy is also prepared for any emergency situation.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said though the cyclone was weakening, the government was taking all the necessary steps to prevent any loss to life or property.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed ongoing preparations.
'PM @narendramodi chaired a meeting in which the situation arising due to pollution in various parts of Northern India was discussed. PM also reviewed the situation arising due to cyclone conditions in parts of western India,' the PMO tweeted.
The chief minister added that the government had taken all the necessary steps in view of the approaching cyclone.
"A total of 30 teams of the NDRF and 15 teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in various parts of Gujarat along with teams of doctors and nurses. District collectors have been asked remain alert to tackle any emergency," he said in Kutch.
He said directions have been issued to shift people to safer places wherever needed.
'Maha' may bring rains in parts of Maharashtra, Goa till Nov 7: IMD
Parts of the coastal Konkan, central Maharashtra and Marthawada regions are likely to receive rains along with Goa over the next two days due to severe cyclonic storm 'Maha', which is expected to make a landfall on the Gujarat coast near UT of Diu on November 7.
"Parts of Konkan, central Maharashtra, Marathwada and Goa may witness some rainfall till November 7, as a result of the cyclonic storm. Isolated places in central Maharashtra and Marathwada may witness thunderstorm and lightning," a India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin said.
Heavy to very heavy rains may be witnessed at isolated places over Andaman and Nicobar Islands, he added.
Fishermen are advised not to venture into the central and northeast Arabian Sea, along and off the Gujarat coast and adjoining north Maharashtra coast, north Andaman sea and southeast and east-central Bay of Bengal, he said.
The very severe cyclonic storm is hovering around 650 km west-southwest of Porbandar and 700 kms west-southwest of Veraval in the Arabian sea.
It is likely to weaken into a cyclonic storm before it makes landfall on Thursday.
3-day school,college holiday in Maharashtra's Palghar
Schools and colleges in coastal Palghar district of Maharashtra will remain closed from November 6 to 8 in view of warning of heavy rain due to cyclone 'Maha'.
Fishermen in Palghar and neighbouring Thane districts have also been asked not to venture into the sea, officials said.
Palghar district collector Kailas Shinde has ordered closure of schools and colleges for three days, said chief of the district disaster management cell Vivekananda Kadam on Tuesday.
Chief secretary of Maharashtra Ajoy Mehta had reviewed the situation in the region on Monday.
Fishermen from Thane and Palghar districts have been asked not to venture into the sea for the next three-four days, said an official release.
The fishermen who are out in the sea have been asked to return or take shelter in nearest ports.
Villages near the coast have been placed on high alert, the release added.
Navy gears up for relief ops
The Navy said on Tuesday its western command has prepared for humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations along the Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast.
Four warships of the Western Naval Command have been loaded with HADR materials like food packets, water, medical supplies and other essential commodities.
Naval units of Gujarat Naval Area are ready with emergency response teams equipped with underwater diving equipment and inflatable boats. Additionally, naval aircraft and helicopters are also on standby, it said.
Naval authorities in Gujarat are in constant liaison with civil authorities to ensure seamless coordination, it added.
Odisha bracing for another cyclone, 15 districts on alert
With the depression over Bay of Bengal set to intensify into a cyclone and trigger widespread rainfall, the Odisha government on Tuesday put 15 of the state's 30 districts on alert to deal with a possible flood-like situation.
The depression moved westwards and lay centred over eastcentral and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal and North Andaman Sea, about 890 km south-southeast of Paradip in Odisha and 980 km south-southeast of Sagar Islands in West Bengal, a senior IMD official said.
It is likely to intensify into a deep depression shortly and into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday, IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, adding, chances of the cyclone hitting the Odisha coast are very low.
"We have put 15 of the state's 30 districts on alert in view of the possible heavy rain," Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and Secretary, Revenue and Disaster
Management, P K Jena told reporters.
The system is expected to move west-northwestwards initially and then north-northwestwards, towards West Bengal, adjoining Bangladesh and north Odisha coasts, Mohapatra said.
"However, the exact direction the cyclonic storm will take and possible location of its landfall are yet to be ascertained," he said.
The likelihood of a cyclonic storm in the region comes barely six months after cyclone Fani devastated coastal Odisha on May 3, claiming around 64 lives.
The cyclone warning also comes a fortnight after six people were killed in rains that battered Odisha under the impact of a low pressure area.
Mohapatra said light to moderate rainfall at most places over the coastal districts of Odisha is likely to commence from November 9.
In West Bengal, light to moderate rainfall at many places and heavy rain at isolated locations might commence over the coastal districts from the same day, an IMD bulletin said.
Under its impact, squally winds with speeds reaching 40-50 kmph and gusting up to 60 kmph is likely to prevail over northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha-West Bengal coasts from the evening of November 8, and gradually increase thereafter, it said.
Seas will be rough over westcentral and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal, and along and off Odisha-West Bengal coasts from the evening of November 8.
"It will be rough to very rough over north Bay of Bengal during November 8 and 9 and very high to phenomenal on November 10 morning," the IMD said.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off Odisha-West Bengal coasts from November 8 onwards.
The districts which were put on alert are: Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Ganjam, Puri, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Boudh, Nuapada and Malkangiri.
The state government has taken all precautionary measures to deal with any situation, Jena said.
The Agriculture Department has also asked farmers to take appropriate safeguards in time to save their crops, harvested paddy and vegetables.