Cyclone Maha, the fourth cyclone this year in the Arabian Sea, is set to intensify further into a ‘Severe Cyclonic Storm’ in the next six hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The depression that had developed in the Comorin Sea, gained strength and turned into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday evening. Some parts of Kerala, coastal Karnataka and southern part of Tamil Nadu are likely to receive “heavy to very heavy rainfalls” in the next 24 hours, IMD warned. An Orange alert has already been issued in four districts of Kerala —Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kozhikode.
Impact on Lakshadweep islands
“Maha cyclone lay centred in Arabian Sea over Lakshadweep, about 40 km northnortheast of Amini Divi,” S Balachandran, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said. The cyclone is very likely to move north-northwestwards across Lakshadweep islands in next 12 hours, said IMD in a press release.
Few areas of Lakshadweep islands will receive ‘extremely heavy rainfalls’ in the next 24 hours. Gale wind speed will also increase gradually to 145 kmph by November 1 over the east-central Arabian Sea, predicted IMD. Fishing over Comorin-Maldives has been suspended for the next 12 hours. Sea conditions over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea will be high to very high during the next 24 hours. IMD has also predicted major damage in Lakshadweep islands in the wake of Cyclone Maha.
Kerala, Karnataka to receive heavy rainfall
Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are likely to witness heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours as Cyclone Maha intensifies. IMD has issued orange and yellow alerts in several parts of Kerala. All schools and colleges in Kochi and Paravur districts of Kerala will remain closed today. The Kerala government has also restricted access to beaches in the districts. Fishermen have been asked not to venture in seas along Kerala-Karnataka coasts during next 24 hours. Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph likely along & off Kerala- Karnataka coasts during next 24 hours, said IMD.
IMD has also advised fishermen not to venture over east-central Arabian Sea till November 4.
Cyclone Kyarr, the first super cyclonic storm in Arabian Sea in last 12 years, gradually weakens, stated IMD. The cyclone is very likely to weaken into a “Deep Depression” during next 18 hours and further into a Depression during subsequent six hours, said IMD.