Natural Disasters

Biporjoy has slightly weakened as it approaches Gujarat coast, evacuation suggested: IMD

An eye should be kept on the Gir forest, says IMD director general

By Rohini Krishnamurthy
Published: Tuesday 13 June 2023

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has suggested that coastal areas in Saurashtra and Kutch should evacuate as Cyclone Biporjoy is set to cross regions between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) near Jakhau Port in Gujarat.

On June 15, tidal waves of height 2-3 metres are likely to inundate low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch coasts, which include Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagadh and Morbi districts, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of meteorology, IMD, said in a press briefing.

It is very likely to move nearly northwards till the midnight of June 13. It will then move north-northeastwards and cross Saurashtra and Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) near Jakhau Port (Gujarat) around the evening of June 15 as a very severe cyclonic storm. The maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kilometres per hour (kmph) gusting to 150 kmph.

“The cyclone’s damaging potential could be high. But it will be lesser than May 2021 (Tauktae) cyclone, where wind speeds reached 180 kmph,” Mohapatra added.

From June 15 (morning to evening), wind speeds are expected to reach 125-135 kmph and gusting to 145 kmph in Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagadh and Morbi.

In the remaining districts of Saurashtra, wind speeds are expected to reach 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph on June 15.

Wind speeds could reach 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph in North Gujarat and adjoining Rajasthan on June 16.

Extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar is expected while Porbandar, Rajkot, Morbi and Junagadh districts of Gujarat could receive heavy to very heavy rainfall.

Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely over the remaining districts of Saurashtra and the North Gujarat region on June 15. Further, there is a moderate flood hazard in a few places in Kutch.

The sea conditions in Saurashtra are expected to be rough to very rough. We need to keep an eye on the Gir forest, Mohapatra said.

Additionally, IMD said damage could be expected over the Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Morbi, Junagadh and Rajkot districts of Gujarat on June 15.

Thatched houses run the risk of total destruction. Kutcha houses could see extensive damage while Pucca houses could witness some damage.

IMD also warned that standing crops, plantations, orchards, falling of green coconuts and tearing of palm fronds could experience widespread damage. Small boats and country crafts may get detached from moorings.

The cyclone underwent rapid intensification. It strengthened from depression to deep depression and a cyclonic storm on the same day, June 6, 2023. It further intensified into a very severe cyclone on June 7 and remained in that category till June 10.

On June 11, Biporjoy intensified again into an extremely severe cyclonic storm. In the late hours of June 12, Cyclone Biporjoy weakened from an extremely severe cyclone to a very severe cyclonic storm, IMD data showed.

“Cyclone Biporjoy is now active in the Arabian Sea for 156 hours (winds>35 knots). This is now the second longest-lived pre-monsoon Arabian Sea cyclone in the satellite era (since 1982) as per Joint Typhoon Warning Center,” Vineet Kumar, post-doctorate researcher at Jeju National University, said on Twitter.

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