New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday said that Cyclone Ockhi was not expected to have high impact in Gujarat which is geared "for the worst sitation" caused by the landfall of the disaster hitting the state`s coastal areas in Surat city on Tuesday midnight.
"The cyclone is not expected to have high impact in Gujarat`s coastal areas. There is possibility of moderate to heavy rain tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) morning with wind speed around 50-70 km/hour," a Home Ministry official said.
Gujarat state authorities, however, have taken several precationary measures against the backdrop of the cyclone leaving a trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Schools have been ordered to remain closed in the region till Wednesday. The Coast Guard has called back around 13,000 fishing boats that ventured into the seas on Monday evening.
"The state is fully prepared for the worst situation, if it arises. Right now the Ockhi cyclone is 390 km from Surat and is predicted to hit the city around midnight," Gujarat`s Principal Secretary, Revenue, Pankaj Kumar told reporters in Gandhinagar.
The official said the wind velocity was expected to reach around 60 to 70 km, or even "up to even 80 km per hour in the coastal areas of Surat and Valsad".
Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and one of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been stationed at Surat and other coastal areas.
The authorities have also halted works at some 510 construction sites. The administration is preparing to erect small towers for uninterrupted cellular services.
When Ockhi hits the state, it is expected that sea waves could reach heights of up to two meters.