Cyclone Ockhi dampens Gujarat poll campaign as netas curtail rallies
Cyclone Ockhi is now slowly weakening into a depression
AHMEDABAD: A weakened Cyclone Ockhi, which moved towards the Gujarat coast around Tuesday midnight, forced various political outfits to cancel their rallies in and around Surat.
BJP deferred Wednesday's election rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Surat. However, his rallies in Dhandhuka, Dahod and Netrang will continue.
Will be in Gujarat today, where I would address rallies in Dhandhuka, Dahod and Netrang. @BJP4Gujarat
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 6, 2017
Party chief Amit Shah's rallies in Rajula town of Amreli and Mahuva and Shihor of Bhavnagar district have also been cancelled.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's three, out of four rallies, were cancelled in Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar.
On Tuesday, the Indian Meteorological Department said that the Cyclone Ockhi is now slowly weakening into a depression and may not hit the Gujarat coast near Surat as predicted earlier. The deep depression is located around 240 kms south- southwest of Surat.
"The cyclone has already weakened into a deep depression and it is highly likely that it will turn into a depression. There are possibilities that it does not hit the coast at all and, as there is a probability of dissipation over the sea before the landfall," said Jayanta Sarkar, director of the MeT office.
"The deep depression over east-central Arabian Sea moved further north-northeastwards with a speed of 18 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred over east-central Arabian Sea near latitude 19.4? N and longitude 71.5? E, about 240 km south-southwest of Surat and 150 km west-northwest of Mumbai," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast said.
"It is very likely to continue to move north- northeastwards, weaken further and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a depression by tonight (5th December 2017)," the bulletin read.
Storm ‘OCKHI’ now weakened into a Deep Depression& now 290 km SSW of Surat. Likely to weaken further &cross southGujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a depression by tonight Severe damages not expected Rainfall & strong winds may continue till tom morning pic.twitter.com/UbfgxSK1lM
— Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) December 5, 2017
Meanwhile, the water level in various rivers are expected to rise. Godavari basin, Damanganga and its tributaries, Mahi river and its tributaries in Gujarat, Sabarmati basin, east flowing rivers between Mahanadi and Godavari rivers, Krishna river and its tributaries and in the basin of river Pennar will be effected.
Heavy rainfall is also likely in north Konkan, north Maharashtra and Gujarat and this is likely to lead to the river levels in these areas to rise rapidly, said a release from the Centre.