Cyclone Ockhi, that wreaked havoc in South India, is now disrupting lives in the financial capital of India. Mumbai and neighbouring districts woke up to a heavy rainfall with waterlogging being reported in several areas such as Kandivali and Andheri. As per forecasts, the Cyclone is expected to make landfall in coastal Gujarat and Mumbai with squally winds, which may cause heavy rains in several parts of the two states during the next two days. Schools along Maharastra’s coastal districts will remain shut today after the Indian Meteorological Department issued a thundershower warning late last evening. Maharashtra’s Education and Sports minister Vinod Tawde declared a holiday for all schools in Mumbai’s metropolitan region including Sindhudurga, Thane Raigad and Palghar Districts on Tuesday as a precautionary measure against cyclone Ockhi. A high alert has been sounded in Gujarat as Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall near Surat in south Gujarat as a deep depression around Tuesday midnight. According to predictions by IMD, the severe cyclonic storm located 770 km south-southwest of Surat on Monday evening is likely to weaken and cross Surat either as a deep depression or depression.
Here are the ten key points that you must know about Cyclone Ockhi:
1. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), today (December 5) morning, said that heavy rainfall was is likely at a few places in Mumbai “with squally wind speed reaching 50 to 60 km per hour gusting to 70 km per hour very likely along coastal area in next 24 hours”.
2. The National Disaster Management Authority shared a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” on its official Twitter account.
— NDMA India (@ndmaindia) November 30, 2017
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted today about Cyclone Ockhi that has wreaked havoc in several parts of India. He said that the situation was being “constantly monitored”. He urged the BJP workers in poll-bound Gujarat “to help people across the state”.
With #CycloneOckhi expected to make a landfall in Gujarat, I appeal to @BJP4Gujarat 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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 5, 2017
4. A statement issued by the IMD advised the fishermen to return back to the coast. “Fishermen are advised to return back to the coast and are advised not to go out in the sea during next 48 hours,” reads the statement. “Due to severe cyclonic storm ‘Ockhi’ over the east-central Arabian sea near latitude 15.7°n and longitude 69.2°e, squally weather very likely to prevail along and off your ports,” it adds.
5. Following the weather warning from India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) Mumbai observatory, the state government announced a precautionary holiday on Tuesday for schools in Sindhudurg, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts. However, Mumbai University and affiliated colleges will not be closed tomorrow. All exams scheduled to be conducted as announced earlier.
6. Central Railway Mumbai Division has been proactive in taking precautionary measures. In a statement, it said, “Break-down equipment such as Accident Relief Train, Accident Relief medical van, Road ART has been kept in readiness for any eventuality. More than 250 railway police force and Maharashtra State Security Force personnel have been deployed on crowd management and other related activities at stations, yards etc. All emergency numbers have also been updated. An emergency cell has been opened at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Kalyan.”
7. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani held emergency meetings to take stock of the preparedness. BJP chief Amit Shah’s rallies in Gujarat have been cancelled due to Cyclone warnings issued by the Met department. Bad weather condition forced UP CM Yogi Aditya Nath, as well, to cancel his Gujarat visit.
8. Rescue and search operations are underway in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep. Over 1500 people have been rescued by disaster management agencies so far, as per various media reports.
9. While the cyclonic conditions are expected to improve by late Wednesday across the northwest India; a new tropical threat is likely to cross the Bay of Bengal and bring heavy rainfall to parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, as per the IMD forecast.
10. Cyclone Ockhi, which struck southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala on November 30, has ravaged a large part of coastal areas. On Monday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the phone to take stock of situation about the areas affected by Cyclone Ockhi. The Home Minister also called up Lakshadweep Administrator Farooq Khan to inquire about the situation in the islands.