Cyclone Alert: Mumbai woke up to more rain this morning as Cyclone Ockhi passes by the coast of Maharashtra today before hitting land at around midnight as a deep depression near Surat in Gujarat. Schools in Mumbai and neighbouring districts of Maharashtra are closed today as a precaution. In Surat, about 283 km from Mumbai, rescue teams have been stationed and election rallies to be addressed by BJP chief Amit Shah and others near the Saurashtra coast have been cancelled.
Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to the story:
1. Cyclone Ockhi, which battered parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep islands, has claimed over 20 lives in the southern states. As many as 1,540 people, including fishermen, affected by the cyclone were rescued by various agencies, the centre said on Monday. Naval ships, helicopters, Coast Guard vessels and Air Force planes are engaged in the rescue and relief operations.
2. In Mumbai, the Western Railways has deployed extra personnel for crowd management in case of any emergency due to the cyclone.
3. Cyclone Ockhi which held the “very severe” cyclone status has weakened into a “severe” cyclone and will make landfall near Surat and the Gulf of Khambat in Gujarat as a deep depression early on Wednesday, the Met Office has said.
4. Maharashtra will witness moderate rainfall at a few places over north Konkan including Mumbai, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The forecast included moderate-to-heavy rainfall at a few places “along with wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph” along the coastal areas.
5. The Maharashtra government has declared precautionary holiday for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurga, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts.
6. The disaster management unit of Mumbai has also advised people against visiting beaches in view of high tide alert issued till tomorrow morning. Fishermen have been asked not to venture out into the sea. Coast Guard has deployed all its resources to meet any emergency requirement.
7. 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.
8. BJP chief Amit Shah has cancelled his rallies scheduled in Rajula, Mahuva and Sihor – the places near the coast.
9. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an urgent meeting with senior officials to take stock of the preparedness.
10. While Cyclone Ockhi was said to be weakening, another tropical storm was brewing in the Bay of Bengal on the east coast, officials said. A well-marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal is likely to become a depression and move towards Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh by December 6, the Regional Meteorological Centre said on Monday.