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Cyclone ‘Nilofar’ heads towards Gujarat coast

All the ports across Gujarat have been asked by the weather department to hoist distant warning II signal as the deep depression in the southwest Arabian sea moved northwards and intensified into cyclonic storm ‘Nilofar’ on Sunday. The storm is likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and move towards Gujarat coast.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has also forecast that the landfall of the cyclone could be near Kutch (north Gujarat) and adjoining Pakistan coast. As per initial projections the landfall is expected to take place by Thursday/Friday.

Under the influence of Nilofar “rainfall at many places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would commence along coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from October 30 morning. Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would commence along and off Gujarat coast from October 30 morning,” an advisory issued by the IMD today evening said, adding that sea condition along and off Gujarat coast would be rough to very rough from the same period. Hence, fishermen out at sea along and off Gujarat coast have been asked to return to the coast.

They further said that by Wednesday the cyclonic storm would have further intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm, which is the same category as Cyclone Hudhud that hit the Vishakapatnam coast on October 12. However, the intensity of the cyclone ‘Nilofar’ was not as intense as Hudhud.

The cyclonic storm ‘Nilofar’ which was located at 1430 hours on Sunday about 1,250 km southwest of Naliya in Kutch, 1,310 km south-southeast of Karachi in Pakistan and 910 km east-southeast of Salalah (Oman) is likely to move north-northwestwards during next 48 hours and then recurve northeastwards towards north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast during subsequent 72 hours.

According to officials of the IMD, Ahmedabad, ports across Gujarat have been asked to hoist distant warning II for the ships coming to the port. “The cyclonic storm is likely to recurve after 48 hours and move towards north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast. It is expected that the landfall could be around the same area. But it could only be ascertained after 48 hours,” said deputy director IMD, Ahmedabad, Manorama Mohanty.

The initial estimates by the IMD suggested that maximum wind speed of the cyclone Nilofar could be between 120- to 130 km/hour gusting to 145 km/hour.

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