Gujarat heaves sigh of relief as Cyclone 'Nilofar' fizzles out

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Ahmedabad, Oct 31: Gujarat on Friday heaved a sigh of relief as the severe cyclonic storm 'Nilofar' further weakened and will have no major impact except moderate rains along with windy weather in some coastal areas of the State.

The Meteorological Department said the depression over west-central Arabian Sea has further weakened into a 'well- marked low pressure', which will leave no major impact on Gujarat, which had been bracing for heavy rains and high speed winds in the wake of Nilofar.

"The earlier system, tagged as cyclonic storm Nilofar, gradually weakened into depression and then turned into 'well- marked low pressure' in the last 24 hours," said state MeT official Ajay Kumar.

"Due to this new system, we expect moderate rains in parts of Kutch and Saurashtra. Wind speed will remain between 35-45 Kmph. There is no need to worry now," he said.

As per the latest MeT bulletin, sea condition along and off Gujarat coast will remain moderate to rough during the next 24 hours and wind speed may reach up to 55 kmph.

But as a precaution, the department advised fishermen not to venture into the sea during the next 24 hours.

Earlier, State administration had swung into action and evacuated more than 17,000 people living near coastal areas in Kutch and Jamanagar districts.

It was forecast the cyclonic storm would hit Naliya in Kutch by this evening.

However, since the last 48 hours, during which threat of heavy showers and strong gusty winds receded the administration is bringing back the people to their homes.

"There is no need to panic now as the system has turned into low pressure, which would bring some rain here. We are now bringing people back to their homes," said Collector of Kutch Mahendra Patel.

A severe cyclonic storm, 'Hudhud', which made landfall in Visakhapatnam on October 12, had wreaked havoc in coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.

PTI

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