AHMEDABAD: Severe cyclonic storm 'Maha' may not hit the Gujarat coast and is likely to fizzle out into the Arabian sea as a 'depression' by Thursday evening, the Met department said on Wednesday.
It would come as a big relief to the common people and administration if the latest prediction turns true.
At present, 'Maha' is still a 'severe cyclonic storm' hovering over the east-central Arabian sea, and is located around 400 kms away from coastal Porbandar in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
"It (the cyclonic storm) is very likely to move nearly eastwards, weaken into a cyclonic storm by today (Wednesday) evening.
Thereafter it is likely to move east-northeastwards, weaken further into a deep depression by the early morning of November 7," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) release stated.
The earlier prediction that 'Maha' would make landfall on the Gujarat coast near the Union Territory of Diu on Thursday morning as a cyclonic storm had prompted the authorities to step up preparedness.
The IMD further said 'Maha' is "very likely" to skirt the Saurashtra coast.
"It would lay centred about 40 kms south of Diu around noon of November 7 as a deep depression. The system would further weaken into a depression by tomorrow (November 7) evening," it stated.
As per the IMD, the (weather) system is weakening gradually in the sea.
"The good part is that it will not hit Gujarat as predicted earlier. It will just skirt the coast of Saurashtra near Diu. It will turn into a depression by tomorrow evening," it stated.
However, the weakened 'Maha' will still bring rains in some parts of Gujarat n Thursday.
MeT Centre Director Jayanta Sarkar said the wind speed would remain around 65 to 70 kms per hour.
In view of the earlier prediction by the Met department, the state government had started taking all the necessary steps to prevent any loss to life and property.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had informed that a total of 30 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed in various parts of the state, mostly in Saurashtra and south Gujarat region, to tackle the impact in the event of 'Maha' making the landfall.
The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard were also prepared to respond to any emergency situation.
The IMD said on Tuesday that 'Maha' might bring "heavy to very heavy rains" at isolated places in the state along with gusty winds at the speed of up to 90 kmph on Thursday.