Cyclone Ockhi: Surat villages vacated; EC seeks IMD report

Cyclone Ockhi: Surat villages vacated; EC seeks IMD report

Surat (Gujarat): The coastal villages in the district have been vacated by evacuating over 3,200 people as cyclone Ockhi started heading towards south Gujarat.

The Indian Meteorological Department said that the cyclone is expected to make landfall in Surat.

According to the latest IMD forecast, the cyclone, which was now turned into a deep depression, lay centred in east central Arabian Sea, 240 km from Surat, causing high speed winds and rain across Gujarat and adjoining Maharashtra. The depression was moving at a speed of 18 kmph for the last six hours.

Also Read: Cyclone Ockhi likely to make landfall in Gujarat on Tuesday midnight

Election Commission seeks cyclone reports:

The Election Commission, through Gujarat's Chief Electoral Officer, sought a report on Cyclone Ockhi and its effect on the state and the assembly election, from state Chief Secretary J.N. Singh by Wednesday afternoon.

The poll panel is alert about the expected effect of Ockhi and constantly getting updated on the developments, while Gujarat CEO B.B. Swain has asked the Chief Secretary to submit a report on the state's preparedness for the cyclone by 1500 hours on Wednesday.

The EC has directed the state administration to take all the necessary precautionary measures regarding the polling day of the first phase, on December 9. It has also asked the administration what will happen if it rains during the day. It is worth mentioning that Gujarat is bound to get into state assembly elections from December 9.

It is speculated that the EC might even change the date of the first phase, but it all depends on the reports submitted to the poll panel. At present, according to sources in CEO's office, there are no changes in the scheduled dates.