NEW DELHI: Cyclone Vayu is likely to make landfall over the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat as a severe cyclonic storm early Thursday morning with winds gusting up to 135kmph and storm surges of up to 1.5 metres, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday, while issuing the highest-level alert, red, for Saurashtra and Kutch.
The storm, moving northward from its current position off the Konkan coast, is likely to slam into the Saurashtra coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (around Veraval and Diu). It could cause extensive damage to huts, weak structures, power lines and trees, besides flooding low-lying areas, IMD said.
Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts are expected to bear the brunt of the storm. “Rooftops may blow off and unattached metal sheets may fly,” the alert warned, adding that there could be major damage to crops in the coastal areas.
The storm strengthened from a deep depression to a cyclone on Tuesday and is likely to develop into a severe cyclonic storm by Wednesday. The storm will weaken after landfall but still cause fairly widespread rain over Saurashtra and Kutch on Friday as well.
With the cyclone drawing away moisture, the monsoon is unlikely to make further progress over the next five days or so, although the western coast will get rain during the period.