A weakened Ockhi cyclone may cause heavy rain in south Gujarat, Saurashtra coast till Dec 7: Gujarat govt

Gandhinagar: Although weakened about 390 km off Surat coast, the Ockhi cyclone in deep depression still likely to hit the south Gujarat and Saurashtra regions around December 5 midnight with a velocity of 60-80 kmph as it may cause heavy rainfall in coastal areas till December 7, 2017.

Gujarat Chief Secretary J.N. Singh reviewing the high alert follow-up actions with senior government officers and collectors through videoconferencing directed the administration to take all preventive measure to save people’s lives and property.

Several places in 74 talukas have received rainfall since early morning. Khergam in Navsari district received maximum rainfall of 21 mm. The Surat, Valsad, Navsari, Dangs, Tapi, Bharuch, Narmada, Vadodara, Anand and Chhotaudepur districts in southern and central Gujarat, as well as Bhavnagar, Amreli and Gir-Somnath districts are likely to be hit more. Over six lakh sacks of groundnut bought at minimum support prices have been shifted to godowns or under sheds.

Principal Secretary Revenue Pankaj Kumar informed that schools and colleges in Surat have been ordered to remain closed on December 6. The state government has issued cyclone alerts on 510 websites and sent 13 lakh SMS to keep industrial units around Hazira and gas exploration suspended at five gas stations as precautionary measures.

Even as six teams of the NRDF have been kept ready as standby, 3,360 people belonging to 890 families from 29 villages in Surat district, and 7,000 saltpan workers from Bharuch and Valsad districts have been shifted to safer places. Similar alert has been issued for Alang ship-breaking yard. While Number 3 signal has been sounded in coastal areas, 13,000 fishing boats and also tugboats and barges have been anchored.

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