After leaving behind a trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshwadeep, Cyclone Ockhi on Tuesday moved closer to the southern coast near Surat in Gujarat and is expected to make a landfall in the state around midnight, said officials.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, as many as 39 people have lost their lives in Cyclone Ockhi in Tamil Nadu and Kerala while 167 are still missing.
The cyclone, which was earlier expected to make landfall in Maharashtra has now moved away from state’s coast and is now expected to make landfall in the Gulf of Khambhat and Surat on December 6. As per the latest forecast released by the Meteorological Centre, the cyclone is now just 390 kms away from Surat.
The Maharashtra government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges in four districts, as a precautionary measure. Parts of the state are expected to receive light to heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government today said intensified search and rescue operations are on to trace the 92 fishermen missing in high seas after Cyclone Ockhi hit the state's coast on November 29.
AS IT HAPPENED:
# Every attempt is being made by Coast Guard, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force to get the missing fishermen and to bring them back to safety. I have been quoting the numbers given to me by the state govt: Union Defence Minister Sitharaman
# I have spoken to Health Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat regarding Cyclone Ockhi, and have assured them that all support will be extended by the Centre, in terms of medicines and medical teams: JP Nadda, Health Minister
# Cyclone Ockhi around 350 km south-SW of Surat,it is expected to cross tonight. It is showing sign of decreasing in intensity.Issued heavy rainfall alert in coastal districts only for tonight, wind speed expected to be around 65-70 kmph when cyclone cross: Director, IMD Ahmedabad
# According to info by IMD, Cyclone Ockhi may hit Surat today: Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani
# We have kept the communication lines open. We are trying to monitor that no water logging takes place and the water supply is in ample amount: Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani in Surat
# Election Commission asked Chief Electoral Officer #Gujarat to prepare contingency plan in the wake of #CycloneOckhi and to ensure that those affected and rehabilitated should be able to vote.
# Seven teams of NDRF deployed at Surat, Navsari, Amreli, Valsad, Bhavnagar and Somnath in Gujarat.
# Twelve beaches in Goa have been affected by the rising sea level caused by Cyclone Ockhi, revenue minister Rohan Khaunte said. The affected beaches are in Varca, Cavellossim, Utorda, Benaulim, Betalbatim, Sernabatim, Arambol, Mandrem, Morjim, Keri, Candolim and Anjuna.
# IMD has informed that Cyclone Ockhi is 230km West- SouthWest of Mumbai. It is likely to continue to move North- NorthEastward, weaken gradually and will cross South Gujrat and North Maharashtra coast. There will be no impact on Mumbai City and Suburbs. All roads & rails traffic are running smoothly, public has been advised not to panic.
# Amit Shah has also cancelled his public meetings in Bhavnagar along with Vasundhara Raje and Yogi Adityanath, who cancelled their Surat campaigns.
# Cyclone Ockhi is most likely to affect poll-bound Gujarat massively. Rahul Gandhi's scheduled meetings in Dhrangadhra and Vadhwan in Surendranagar have been cancelled due to harsh weather conditions.
# 33 tourists including some foreigners rescued in Lakshadweep, the Ministry of Home Affairs said today.
# Two merchant ships were rescued, and 16 crew members were saved in Lakshadweep: MHA
# As many as 39 people have lost their lives in Cyclone Ockhi in Tamil Nadu and Kerala while 167 are still missing: MHA.
# One boat from Maharashtra’s Raigarh with 4 people goes missing, rescue agencies trying to establish contact, reports ANI.
# Fishermen at South Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts are advised not to venture into the sea along and off the coasts during next 24 hours.
# The Indian Meteorological Department recorded 14mm rain in Colaba and 11.2 mm in Santacruz till 5.30 am.
# The cyclone is approaching Gujarat steadily and now lies centred in the Arabian Sea just 390 kms away from Surat. It is very likely to continue moving north-northwestwards, an official of the MeT centre said.
# "It is very likely to continue to move north-northwestwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by the night of December 5," said the latest IMD bulletin.
#As predicted by the weathermen, several districts today received light rain since morning, even as almost the entire state witnessed overcast skies.
It's likely to rain today, there will be strong winds. People have been advised not to go out at night. Those living in kachha houses will be given shelter. NDRF is on alert. Municipality & local bodies are working on their level.: Mahendra Patel, Surat DM #CycloneOckhi pic.twitter.com/lUuIpOiauW— ANI (@ANI) December 5, 2017
#The Indian Navy has provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to people affected by cyclone Ockhi in Lakshadweep, a Defence spokesperson said.
# "With Cyclone Ockhi expected to make a landfall in Gujarat, I appeal to BJP Gujarat Karyakartas to focus on helping people across the state. Our Karyakartas should devote themselves to providing all possible assistance and stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens", tweets PM Narendra Modi.
Continuously monitoring the situation arising in various parts of the country due to #CycloneOckhi. Spoke to all relevant authorities and officials. All possible assistance is being provided to those affected.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 5, 2017
#As Mumbai braces for Cyclone Ockhi, areas near the metropolis witnessed a spell of hailstorm, while schools and colleges in the city and adjoining districts have been closed today as a precautionary measure.
#Some parts of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway experienced a hailstorm early on Tuesday, police said.
#The weather department has forecast intermittent rains in Mumbai and suburbs in the next 24 hours.
#The traffic on Eastern and Western Express Highways in Mumbai has slowed down after rain in some parts of Mumbai throughout Monday night.
#There are traffic curbs in some places in view of the rush of followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on his death anniversary.
#The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made arrangements for accommodation in some civic schools for people coming from outside Mumbai to pay tributes to Ambedkar at Chaityabhumi in Dadar area.
#"Intermittent rain/thundershowers very likely to occur in Mumbai and suburbs in next 24 hours," said a report of the India Meteorological Department.
#"Heavy rainfall is likely at a few places with squally wind speed reaching 50 to 60 kms per hour gusting to 70 kms per hour very likely along coastal area in next 24 hours," it further said.
#The MeT department has already forecast rains with thundershowers in and around Mumbai with squalls reaching 50-60 kmph and touching 70 kmph in the coastal areas over the next two days, with minimum temperatures hovering around 23 degrees Celsis.
#An India Meteorological Department forecast said, "The severe cyclonic storm Ockhi is now laid centred about 850 km south-southwest of Surat and is likely to cross south Gujarat and adjoining North Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by mid-night of December 5."
#According to the IMD official, a warning of heavy rainfall was issued in north Konkan and north Madhya Maharashtra. "The centre of the cyclone is around 600 km from Mumbai but its cloud band has spread along the coastal areas. Hence, light rainfall has started in Mumbai. The intensity of rains will increase as the cyclone approaches," an official said.
#The Western Railway said it has taken necessary precautions and made suitable arrangements in view of the warning about cyclone Ockhi in coastal areas of Maharashtra.
#Following the IMD prediction, Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh today took stock of the administrative preparedness to deal with any eventuality.
#Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams each have been deployed at Surat, Navsari, and Rajkot. The officer said the Army, Navy, and the Border Security Force (BSF) have been alerted in the view of the cyclone's landfall.
#As per reports, wind velocity would remain between 50 KMPH to 70 KMPH when the cyclone would make landfall.
#In view of the adverse weather conditions, the RoRo ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej across the Gulf of Khambhat has been suspended. The service, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would resume on December 6 subject if the weather conditions are suitable.
#According to the IMD, Gujarat is very likely to experience a wet spell during the next four days. "Heavy rainfall might occur in Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir-Sonath and Bhavnagar districts on December 5," it said.
#In a port warning issued here, the MeT Centre said, "Sea condition would be rough. Fishermen (have been) advised not to venture into the sea till December 6. Hoist Distant Warning Signal Number 2 at all ports".
ALSO READ | Maharashtra, Gujarat put on alert as Cyclone Ockhi heads for coast; relief and rescue ops continue
#According to an official release, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an urgent meeting with senior officials to take stock of the preparedness.
#During the meeting, he was apprised that as many as 50 boats from Kerala had drifted towards Gujarat's Veraval coast due to the cyclone, it said.