Biparjoy turns into extremely severe storm, to hit Gujarat coastline

The cyclone’s landfall, expected on March 15 noon may cause 2-3 metre surges in sea water, which is sure to flatten thatched houses near the seashore

Cyclone Biparjoy

Gandhinagar: Authorities have begun evacuating people in Gujarat districts by the sea in view of cyclone ‘Biparjoy’, which is scheduled to make its landfall along the Saurashtra-Kutch coasts on June 15.

Officials of the meteorological department said that cyclone Biparjoy has already developed into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm”, which is considered the second highest category cyclone in terms of its strength.

Holiday declared in schools

Keeping in view the severity of the cyclone, the Gujarat government has already declared holidays for schools in coastal Kutch, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka and Junagadh districts in the state’s Saurashtra region as a precautionary step. Officials said that around 1,300 persons have been relocated to safer places from Devbhumi Dwarka in the past 24 hours.

Predicted impact of landfall

Officials said that the landfall of cyclone may cause 2-3 metre surges in sea water, which is sure to flatten thatched houses near the seashore. Pucca houses and roads will suffer damages due to floodings and strong wind and will lead to widespread damage to standing crops and plantations. Railway service, power transmission may be disrupted in the northern and western coastal districts of Gujarat, a bulletin from the India-based Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) said.

Cyclone Biparjoy

Cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ is now an extremely severe cyclonic storm, likely to make landfall around noon on June 15. The cyclonic system is located at a distance of 690 km south of Karachi, Pakistan Meteorological Department said.

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A top official of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that the authorities had started moving people from the low-lying coastal areas in Sindh to temporary shelters in government schools and offices as the cyclone is expected to make Keti Bandar and its adjoining area as its land-falling point in Pakistan. Keti Bandar is one of the oldest ports in Sindh.

Beacon lights on highrises and mobile towers in Karachi

“We are expecting the high-intensity winds, heavy rainfalls, thunderstorms and high tides to damage vulnerable structures, so we have started taking precautions and are evacuating the people at least 10 kilometres away from coastal areas,” Jahanzaib Khan, the NDMA official, said.

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Officials of the NDMA said that the authority has also issued directions that all high-rise buildings and mobile towers in Karachi must be lit up by beacon lights and big advertisement boards on poles and buildings should either be strengthened or removed altogether if they pose a threat to passing traffic and the people.

In another precautionary measure, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority’s airside department has also alerted the relevant officials to ensure the safety of lightweight aircraft and other electrical equipment by taking precautionary measures such as mooring of parked light aircraft or re-parking to a safer place.

Coastal areas of Pakistan being evacuated

Authorities in Pakistan said that they have also begun evacuation of low-lying coastal areas in Sindh province as they braced for the approaching Cyclone Biparjoy that continues to gain strength and is likely to cause heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in the country. All the authorities concerned have been put on high alert after Biparjoy, which located over the Arabian Sea, turned into an extremely severe cyclonic storm on Sunday.

Power failures in Gujarat’s rural ahead of cyclonic impact?

Senior Congress leader and Porbandar MLA Arjun Modhwadia alleges power failures, especially in rural areas of Porbandar, saying Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited, the state-controlled power distribution company, didn’t repair power distribution cables and poles despite him having personally apprising Energy Minister Kanu Desai to these requirements. Modhwadia further claimed cables of 121 kilometres of high tension lines and 21 kilometres of low tension lines needed to be “replaced” but PGVCL didn’t do that and due to the strong winds brought by cyclone Biparjoy, the lines are now faulting, leading to power failures, especially in feeders supplying power to farmers.

PM reviews situation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to review the government’s preparedness for Cyclone Biparjoy which has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm over the east central Arabian Sea. During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed about the situation of the cyclone and the measures taken by the government. Officials informed that NDRF teams have been deployed in Gujarat’s Porbandar, Gir-Somnath and Valsad.

Total ban on fishing activities along Gujarat coasts

Fishing activities along Gujarat’s south and north coasts have been suspended and authorities began evacuating people in districts by the sea in view of cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ likely to make landfall along the Saurashtra-Kutch coasts as a very severe cyclonic storm, officials said on Monday.

Extremely sever cyclone: IMD

In its latest bulletin, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ was very likely to move north-northeast and cross Saurashtra and Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) by the noon of June 15 as a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ with maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kilometres per hours (kmph) gusting to 150 kmph.

IMD officials said that as of Sunday night, the extremely severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy lay about 540 km west of Mumbai, 360 km southwest of Porbandar, 400 km south-southwest of Devbhumi Dwarka, 490 km south-southwest of Naliya and 660 km south of Karachi in Pakistan

Schools turned into temporary shelters

Reports said that many schools, located along the coastline, are being converted as temporary shelter for the people in view of the likely devastation of the cyclone. “Stormy winds and heavy rainfall are also predicted. Keeping this in view, the district administration has decided to keep the schools closed from June 12 to June 15. As many as 71 school buildings have been converted into temporary cyclone shelters and 300 more buildings have been made available for this,” said an official

Curb on beaches

The Gujarat government has closed down popular sea beaches like Chowpaty in Porbandar, Shivrajpur near Dwarka in Devbhumi Dwarka, and Mandvi in the Kutch district. Officials and government staff made the announcements at the Rupen harbour near Dwarka town as well as in other fishing harbours along the long coastline of the state, asking people they might have to shift to safer areas if the cyclone continued to approach Saurashtra coast.

Orange alert in Saurashtra and Kutch coasts

The IMD has issued orange alert for Saurashtra & Kutch Coasts in view of extremely severe cyclonic storm “Biparjoy” over east-central and adjoining northeast Arabian Sea. Heavy rainfall warnings have been issued for Kutch, Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagadh and Morbi districts of Gujarat.

According to IMD officials, the intensity of rainfall would increase with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka & Jamnagar and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over Porbandar, Rajkot, Morbi & Junagadh districts of Gujarat on 15th June.

Rains lash several parts of Mumbai and Maharashtra

Several parts of Mumbai and Maharashtra received rains on Sunday night, an IMD official said. Mumbai city as well as coastal parts of the state also witnessed strong winds as the intensity of cyclone Biparjoy increased bringing rains to the western parts of the state. Strong winds also affected the air quality and visibility due to dust particles. Some trees fell in parts of Mumbai due to gusty winds, said a civic official.

Huge waves caught tourists in Ganpatipule town in the coastal Ratnagiri district by surprise. The waves hit the beach with a strong current, scaring away the tourists. There was no serious injury reported in the incident.

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