New Delhi: The Meteorological Department has warned residents along parts of the country`s western coast that Tropical Cyclone Phet is likely to unleash heavy downpour combined with gale-speed winds.
According to the MeT officials, Tropical cyclone Phet in the Arabian Sea is about 1100 km from Nalia in Kutch and is weakening as coastal areas of Gujarat received light to medium rainfall under its influence.
The cyclone has moved slightly towards the coast of Oman and "due to proximity to the land surface (near Oman), the system is showing sign of weakening," they said.
The weather office earlier said that it was likely the storm would gain strength over the next 24 hours and move closer to the coast of Oman before returning to Pakistan`s west coast and the Gujarat coast.
It had warned of heavy rains and winds of speeds reaching 50 miles (85 kilometers) an hour starting Friday.
In view of the warning, the state administration has sounded a high alert in Gujarat.
The Relief and rescue teams have been rushed to those spot where heavy brains and squalls are expected. The weather office warned that these may intensify with cyclone Phet likely to hit the state over the next few days.
The state has sought updated satellite photographs, and put the district and taluka administrations on alert to deal with the emerging situation.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday convened a meeting of cabinet ministers, the Chief Secretary and secretaries of all related departments, and also had India Meteorological Department (IMD) director Kamaljeet Ray and Director General of Police S S Khandwawala in attendance.
A government spokesperson announced that all control rooms from district to taluka levels have been made operational and secretaries in-charge of various districts have been rushed to their areas in the Saurashtra-Kutch region.
Six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have reached Kutch, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Junagadh and Rajkot.
Two more teams have been dispatched to Kutch and Jamnagar. State Reserve Police (SRP) contingents are already on the way and state transport buses have been kept ready at various points for short notice deployment for relief duties.
The chief minister has directed both public and private hospitals to be prepared to deal with any contingency and emergency services of 108 service vans are ready.
Meanwhile, the sweltering weather in Gujarat underwent a dramatic change with a fall in temperature and an overcast sky.
Not only the coastal areas of the state but cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat, besides smaller towns, received showers though squalls affected transport and traffic on some roads.
The Met office attributed the changed conditions to the affect of the impending cyclonic storm.
Showers have been reported from Amreli, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar districts of the Saurashtra region and Dharmpur in Valsad, besides other parts of south Gujarat. The sea would be rough and fishermen have been cautioned not to go out. The ports in the state have also been alerted.
According to reports from Saurashtra, two people have died within the 24 hours till Wednesday evening.
Fishermen have been warned not to venture out in open sea.
(With Agency Inputs)