NEW DELHI – Cyclone Ockhi, which has already left at least 25 people dead in southern India and 13 in Sri Lanka, weakened as it moved towards the western coast of India and was expected to continue weakening before making landfall, the National Disaster Management Authority said on Tuesday.
According to the NDMA, the tropical storm was likely to continue on its course from the Arabian Sea to the southwest of India, towards the western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, weakening gradually.
Ockhi will make landfall in southern Gujarat, near the city of Surat, at midnight on Tuesday.
Fishing boats in the state have been ordered to remain anchored, Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Kumar told EFE.
The authorities have taken all the necessary precautions and were prepared to evacuate people if the situation worsens, Kumar said.
The neighboring state of Maharashtra will also be affected by the storm and schools in Mumbai and neighboring districts were ordered on Tuesday to remain closed although the authorities believe the state’s coasts will not be seriously affected.
“It is not necessary to evacuate people because the cyclone will pass quite far from the coast and is expected to weaken further,” a source from the control room of the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority told EFE.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the cyclone was above the Arabian Sea, to the southwest of India, at 8:30 am on Tuesday and moving at 25 kilometers per hour (15 miles per hour).
At least 25 people have died in India due to the cyclone and thousands evacuated while 13 people have lost their lives in the neighboring Sri Lanka.