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Cyclone Biparjoy: Landfall time, location, impact, cities to be hit, preparations
India and Pakistan braced for cyclone Biparjoy which is expected to hit their coastal regions on June 15.
India and Pakistan braced for the first severe cyclone - Biparjoy - this year expected to hit their coastal regions later this week, with authorities halting fishing activities, deploying rescue personnel and announcing evacuation plans for those at risk. From the Arabian Sea, cyclone Biparjoy is aiming at Pakistan's southern Sindh province and the coastline of Gujarat. It is forecast to make landfall on Thursday and could reach maximum wind speeds of up to 150 kmph.
On Tuesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an Orange alert for Saurashtra and Kutch coasts in Gujarat as Biparjoy is set to cross the Jakhau Port in Gujarat by the evening of June 15 as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS).
Biparjoy, which began as a Low Pressure Area just last week, rapidly intensified into a formidable Severe Cyclonic Storm. Remarkably, it has become one of the most persistent cyclones to affect India in recent decades. The prolonged duration over the sea has allowed Biparjoy to gather significant energy and moisture, thereby enhancing its intensity. Consequently, there is an increased risk of severe impacts and destructive consequences upon landfall, weather.com reported.
What is landfall?
According to the US National Hurricane Center, “A landfall is the intersection of the centre of a tropical cyclone with a coastline.”
In other words, landfall is when the eye of the cyclone moves to land after being on the water. This does not mean that cyclone has ‘hit the land’ or arrived. The cyclone arrives hours before the landfall bringing rainfall and dust storms.
A landfall often carries heavy winds, lashing rains, increasing sea level that can pose a threat to people living in the neighbouring region.
Where will cyclone Biparjoy make landfall?
Classified as a very severe cyclonic storm, Biparjoy is expected to make landfall around Thursday evening between Mandvi in Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan with a maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kmph, gusting to 150 kmph, the IMD said.
“On June 15, wind speed in Dwarka, Jamnagar, Kutch and Morbi districts of Gujarat will be around 125-135 kmph and gusting to 150 kmph, it could have extensive damaging potential,” Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of the IMD said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Mohapatra added that the wind speed is picking up in Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka districts upto Kutch to go up to 65-75 kmph on Wednesday.
Places to be affected
High waves in the Arabian Sea, accompanied by a heavy downpour and gusting winds pounded Gujarat's coastal areas, uprooting trees and resulting in a wall collapse that killed three people in Kutch and Rajkot districts of the state, authorities said. Eight districts in coastal Gujarat are expected to be affected, the state government said.
The cyclone could lead to extremely heavy rainfall (over 20 cm) at isolated places in Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts on June 15. Porbandar, Rajkot, Morbi and Junagarh may receive heavy to very heavy rainfall.
Winds gusting up to 145 km are predicted to batter these districts.
"Tidal waves reaching heights of up to six metres could inundate low-lying coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch. Evacuation measures have been recommended, and authorities are taking prompt action," Mohapatra said.
Damage expected during cyclone Biparjoy’s landfall
- Total destruction of thatched houses/extensive damage to kutcha houses, with some damage to pucca houses, according to weather.com.
- Potential threat from flying objects.
- Bending/uprooting of power and communication poles.
- Major damage to kutcha and pucca roads.
- Minor disruption of railways, overhead power lines and signalling systems.
- Damage to standing crops, plantations, orchards, falling of green coconuts and tearing of palm fronds.
How India and Pakistan are prepping for cyclone Biparjoy?
- In India, thousands were evacuated from low-lying regions, including residents living within 5 km of the coast in Gujarat. Those within 10 km of the coast might be moved over the next two days if required, officials said.
- “We have shifted 20,580 people from Gujarat’s coastal districts and moved them to relief camps where they will be provided with food, drinking water and other essential material," said CC Patel, director of relief in the Gujarat state government.
- Fishing operations in India and Pakistan in the regions likely to be affected have been suspended till Friday while schools have declared holidays.
- According to the Gujarat government, 21 teams of the National Disaster Response Force and 13 teams of the State Disaster Response Force have been deployed in the state for rescue work.
- Reliance Industries, which operates the world's largest refining complex in Gujarat's Jamnagar, declared a force majeure, suspending exports of diesel and other oil products from Gujarat's Sikka port due to the storm, traders said.
- The Adani conglomerate's ports business, Adani Ports, said it suspended 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 evacuated 50 personnel from a jack-up oil rig off Gujarat's coast named Key Singapore, which is owned by Dubai-based Shelf Drilling and currently working for Cairn Oil & Gas (Vedanta Ltd.), according to Shelf Drilling's website.
- In Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority said instructions were being given to take precautionary measures in southern and southeastern parts that may be affected.