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Alert sounded as cyclonic storm set to pass off Goa coast

Panaji/Margao/Canacona: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning for Goa as a deep depression, which has been formed over the south east Arabian Sea will turn into a cyclonic storm on Tuesday and pass 200-250 km off the Goa coast.

The IMD said a ‘yellow’ alert, indicating prospects of isolated heavy rain, has been sounded for three days till Thursday.

The deep depression has brought isolated heavy rains over Goa. In a span of 24 hours from 8.30 am on Monday, Canacona recorded 7 mm of rain, while other stations have recorded nil.

This change in weather is due to the depression that has been caused over the Arabian Sea off the south east coast of India moving towards the north and it has strengthened into a deep depression and subsequently will turn into a cyclonic storm by June 11 which will move parallel to the west coast but maintain sufficient distance of 200-250 km. It will turn into a severe cyclonic storm on June 13 and move towards the north and north west to hit Gujarat.

The effect of the deep depression over Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep manifested on Monday evening itself, as strong winds triggered a change in the sea condition and the water level rose slightly along the coastal belts. High waves in the range of 3-3.9 metres have been forecast for the next 24 hours till Tuesday 11.30 pm.

The IMD has predicted that power and communication lines could be damaged due to the breaking of tree branches owing to gusty winds. On June 11, the wind speed is very likely to increase gradually and become gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph over east central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea and on June 12 the wind speed will be reaching at 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph over the sea.

“Although the storm would not pose a threat to the Goa coast, signs of destruction like gusty winds and turbulent sea are likely to disturb the normal work of fishermen. So they are advised to stay away from the sea. The storm will turn into a severe cyclonic storm and either make a landfall or pass dangerously close to the Gujarat coastline in three days. If this happens, it would be the second cyclone of the season after Cyclone Fani,” IMD director Dr K V Padgalwar said.

In its latest update, the IMD has said that the brewing cyclone has led to rains all over the western coast of the nation including Mumbai, Pune, Gujarat, Konkan and Goa. A gradual increase in rain is expected from Tuesday onwards.

Further, as the system moves further north, the rain belt would also shift. During the next 24 hours, heavy to very heavy rains are likely over coastal Karnataka and Goa.

Meanwhile, water level in the sea along the coast in Salcete taluka increased on Monday. At Colva, the water was seen above the normal level late evening. Visitors to the famous Colva beach were asked not to venture into the water by guards deputed at the beach.     

District Collector, South Goa, Agnelo Fernandes, who is also the chief of district disaster management committee, Monday evening activated all the line departments to act in case of any untoward incident.

The district disaster management committee has set up control rooms at taluka level. These control rooms will operate round the clock.

“Since the IMD has warned of high speed cyclonic winds likely to hit South Goa areas, the District Collector has advised us to be alert so as to act swiftly in case there is a need,” a senior official, who attended an important meeting, said. He further said that the district disaster management committee has prepared a plan to act during emergencies in monsoon. Officials of various departments like the public works department, health, electricity, panchayats and district administration were present at the meeting.

The Canacona disaster management committee headed by Deputy Collector Sagun Velip will hold a special meeting on Tuesday which will be attended by the mamlatdar, fire department officials, police department and heads of government departments to discuss and plan for any emergencies that may arise due to the cyclonic storm. 

Sources said that all fishermen from Canacona have pulled their boats to higher ground as is the practice to avoid damages to the boats during the rains.

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