Gujarat braces for extremely severe cyclone 'Biparjoy'
The cyclone is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of 125-135 kmph, gusting up to 150 kmph
The cyclonic storm 'Biparjoy' continues its journey northwards in the east-central Arabian Sea, placing Gujarat and Pakistan's coastal regions under high alert, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
As of June 12, the storm was located roughly 340 km southwest of Porbandar, 380 km south-southwest of Devbhumi Dwarka, 460 km south of Jakhau Port, 470 km south-southwest of Naliya, and 640 km south of Karachi, Pakistan.
The IMD predicts that the cyclone will move north until the morning of June 14, then veer north-northeast awards, crossing the coasts of Saurashtra & Kutch and adjacent Pakistan regions between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) near Jakhau Port (Gujarat) by noon on June 15. It is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of 125-135 kmph, gusting up to 150 kmph.
Heavy rainfall warnings have been issued for several districts in Gujarat, including Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagarh, and Morbi. Beginning on June 14, these regions may experience moderate to heavy rainfall at most places, with isolated incidents of extremely heavy rainfall on June 15. Additional rainfall is expected over north Gujarat and adjoining south Rajasthan on June 16.
As the storm approaches, Gale wind speed of up to 175 kmph gusting to 195 kmph will likely hit the northeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea from June 12, decreasing slightly to 155 kmph gusting to 175 kmph by nightfall. Similar conditions are anticipated for June 13, with wind speeds gradually reducing until the evening of June 15.
Sea conditions are also expected to worsen significantly, with the IMD forecasting "phenomenal" conditions over the northeast and east-central Arabian Sea from June 12 to 15. This means wave heights could exceed 14 meters, making sea travel extremely dangerous.
A storm surge of 2-3 meters above the astronomical tide could potentially inundate the low-lying areas of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, and Morbi districts during the time of landfall. This surge, combined with the anticipated rainfall, poses a severe flood risk.
The cyclone also threatens significant damage, including the destruction of thatched and kutcha houses, uprooting of power and communication poles, widespread damage to crops and orchards, and visibility being severely affected due to salt spray.
With the storm's impending arrival, all fishing operations in the east-central and adjoining west-central Arabian Sea are suspended until June 15. The IMD has advised those out at sea to return to the coast and encouraged judicious regulation of offshore and onshore activities. Ports along the west coast of India, naval base operations, and the general public in the affected areas are advised to take necessary precautions. Tourism activities may be restricted over these areas.