NEW DELHI: Cyclonic storm 'Nilofar' is expected to make landfall near Naliya in Kutch district of Gujarat on the morning of November 1 but with a reduced intensity, India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said.
The system, which turned into a very severe cyclonic storm yesterday, lay about 1,080 km southwest of Naliya this afternoon and 1,110 km southsouthwest of Karachi in Pakistan.
"It would move northnorthwestwards during next 12 hours and then gradually recurve northeastwards and cross North Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by November 1 forenoon," IMD said in a bulletin.
"However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and cross the coast as a cyclonic storm," it added. Under the influence of this system, heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast along the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from October 31 night.
Squally winds of speed 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would commence along and off Gujarat coast from October 31 night and would become 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph at the time of landfall.
The Met has already asked authorities to hoist distant warning signal No 2 on all ports.
Cyclone 'Nilofar' comes just weeks after cyclone 'Hudhud' hit the Eastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, causing extensive damage in Vishakapatna.
"We have also asked the district collectors to take the help of NCC, NSS and local NGOs," Pandey said.
About the plans for dealing with possible communication failures, he said the Centre had provided ten satellite phones. "Three out of the ten satellite phones will be used in Kutch region which is likely to be more affected," he added.
Asked about the fishermen who are still at sea, he said "according to the Fisheries Commissioner, around 400 fishermen have come back to the coast. But they are in queue as there is a problem of anchoring the boats. We have asked the Collector to deal with this situation.
"We urge the peole not to travel in the coastal regions of Gujarat including Kutch. We have also directed the district collectors to evacuate the tourists with the help of local police. No tourist will be permitted to travel in these areas during the severe cyclonic conditions," Pandey said.
Meanwhile, the state's chief secretary Varesh Sinha today held a high-level meeting through video-conference with collectors and other officials.
Sinha asked the officers to identify places to accommodate evacuees and to ensure supply of food, water, medicines and generators.
The government has also asked the administration to evacuate salt pan workers and shut down the salt pan works.
Regarding the workers at ports, power plants and large industries, the state government has asked the respective managements to implement their on-site and off-site plans to control the movement of workers.
Sinha also asked the officers to make sure that people do not travel to pilgrimage sites in the coastal areas.