Cyclone Vayu, which was expected to make landfall in Gujarat but changed course on Wednesday night, could change direction again and move towards the coast in the next 48 hours, reports NDTV.
The cyclone may “recurve on June 16 and hit Kutch on June 17-18,” M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, told PTI on Friday hours after Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that Vayu had moved westward and “no longer posed any threat” to the state.
The senior earth ministry official also said that the intensity of the “very severe” cyclonic storm is “likely to reduce” and it may hit the coast as a “cyclonic storm or a deep depression”.
Vayu was earlier expected to hit land between Porbandar and Veraval on Thursday. But it changed direction and moved westwards towards Oman.
Over three lakh people were evacuated from coastal Gujarat and the union territory of Diu ahead of the expected landfall. The National Disaster Response Force, the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Border Security Force were put on high alert and schools and colleges were shut.
A day after the cyclonic storm changed course, Rupani had said that “Gujarat is now completely safe”. But later in the day, after the fresh alert, Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre additional director Manorama Mohanty said it was too early to predict if the cyclone will recurve and hit Kutch or Saurashtra. “The report says it may recurve in the next 48 hours. But it is also possible it may weaken by then and dissipate in the sea itself,” she said.