| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Cyclone likely to hit India’s west coast, south Pakistan on Thursday

The Indian meteorological service warned on Monday that a storm off India’s west coast has grown into a severe cyclone that might impact the western state of Gujarat and southern sections of Pakistan this week.

The cyclone, designated Biparjoy, is projected to reach landfall between Mandvi in Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan on Thursday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 125-135 km (78-84 miles) per hour, gusting to 150 km (93 miles) per hour, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Nearly a dozen districts in coastal Gujarat will be affected by heavy rainfall and gusting winds although some of these are sparsely populated, which would limit the damage, said a weather office official, who declined to be named.

Fishermen in Gujarat have been advised against going to sea and those at sea have been called back, with 21,000 boats parked so far, the government said on Monday.

Offshore oil installations have also been asked to ensure immediate return of all manpower, and two of India’s largest ports – Kandla and Mundra – located in Gujarat have been alerted while other ports have been advised for preventive action.

The Adani conglomerate’s ports business, Adani Ports (APSE.NS), said in an exchange filing that it suspended its vessel operations on Monday at Mundra, India’s biggest commercial port that has the country’s largest coal import terminal, and also at Tuna port near Kandla.

The Indian Coast Guard said it was evacuating 50 personnel from a jack-up oil rig off Gujarat’s coast named Key Singapore, which is owned by Dubai-based Shelf Drilling (SHLF.OL) and currently working for Cairn Oil & Gas (Vedanta Ltd.) (VDAN.NS), according to Shelf Drilling’s website.

Shelf Drilling and Cairn Oil & Gas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gujarat Pipavav Port Limited said in a stock exchange filing on Monday that operations at its Pipavav Port had been suspended since late Saturday evening due to “prevailing severe weather conditions”.

  • Reuters