Cyclone Ockhi: High alert issued in Gujarat and Maharashtra


Mumbai: Mumbai and neighbouring districts woke up to heavy rainfall as Cyclone Ockhi passes by the coast of Maharashtra today before hitting land at around midnight with a deep depression near Surat in Gujarat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said he was “continuously monitoring the situation” appealed to BJP workers in Gujarat to help people across the state. “Spoke to all relevant authorities and officials. All possible assistance is being provided to those affected,” he tweeted.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an urgent meeting with senior officials to take stock of the preparedness.

However, Schools in Mumbai and neighbouring districts of Maharashtra are closed on Tuesday 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.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off South Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts from December 4 to 6.

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.

While Cyclone Ockhi was said to be weakening, another tropical storm was brewing in the Bay of Bengal on the east coast, according to sources. A well-marked low-pressure area over the southeast Bay of Bengal is likely to become a depression and move towards Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh by December 6, sources said.

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