Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth chairs meeting to review relief and rescue preparedness in state's coastal districts
New Delhi: With cyclonic storm Nilofer inching closer to the Gujarat coast, cabinet secretary Ajit Seth chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on Monday to review relief and rescue preparedness in the state’s coastal districts.
In a video conference with the Gujarat chief secretary, Seth took stock of the various steps to meet any challenges arising from the cyclone.
Nilofer, which is at the moment centered in the west-central Arabian Sea, is 1,170 km from Naliya in Gujarat. It has been categorized as a very severe cyclonic storm by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) with sustained surface wind speed of over 145 kmph.
The NCMC also reviewed the preparedness with the concerned central ministries and departments and representatives of the state government who were present at the meeting. “The Centre is fully geared up to provide necessary assistance to the state government whenever and wherever required," said a press release by the home ministry.
Although stationary on Monday, the cyclone will initially move in the north-northwest direction in the next 24 hours. It will then curve back in the northeast direction and cross north Gujarat and the adjoining coast in Pakistan close to Naliya by 31 October morning, according to IMD. “However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and cross the coast as a severe cyclonic storm," an update by the India Meteorological Department said on Monday.
Under the influence of this cyclonic system, there will be rainfall in most places in Gujarat with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall along the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from 30 October, according to IMD. Wind speeds are initially expected to be at 45-55 kmph, with gusts of up to 65 kmph along and off the Gujarat coast from the morning of 30 October. Wind speeds will rise to 100-110 kmph, with gusts of up to 125 kmph at the time of landfall, expected on 1 october.
The sea is also expected to be extremely rough as the cyclone makes landfall.
IMD has warned that there could be extensive damage to thatched roofs and huts, and minor damage to power and communication lines as large avenue trees get uprooted. The state government has cautioned fishermen to remain on shore till the cyclone passes.