Cyclone Phet may give Gujarat a miss

Gandhinagar, June 3 (Calcutta Tube) The severe cyclonic storm Phet may weaken and give Gujarat a miss while moving towards Pakistan by the weekend. So far eight people have died in the state due to the turbulence linked to the storm, officials said Thursday.

According to Kamaljeet Ray, director of India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone is now headed for the Oman coast.

‘It would hit the Oman coast by Friday morning and weaken. By June 5, it would reappear in the Arabian Sea and is likely to hit Pakistan. Gujarat is not likely to be affected by it now,’ she said.

Phet is now centred about 1,400 km west of Mumbai and 1,100 km southwest of Kutch in Gujarat.

The weather office has forecast rains with squally winds reaching speeds of 40-50 kmph over Saurashtra and Kutch till Sunday.

Since the sea will be choppy, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the waters. Salt workers, largely based in Kutch, have been warned against going out to work for the next three days.

About 12,500 people have been evacuated from coastal areas and moved to safer places in Rajkot, Kutch, Porbandar and Kutch districts since Wednesday, an official spokesperson said.

‘So far, eight people have died in the state,’ an official said.

The deaths in the state occurred in Rajkot, Surendranagar, Jamnagar and Mehsana districts, caused due to lightning strikes or wall collapses.

Gujarat Chief Secretary A.K. Joti reviewed the situation Thursday. Nine teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and eight teams of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been deployed in Saurashtra and Kutch.

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