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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) today asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out in the sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to Cyclone Ockhi. Asking people not to panic in case of a cyclone alert, the NDMA said in an advisory that fishermen along and off Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts should not venture into sea from December 6 to 8 while fishermen along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands are advised not to venture into sea till tomorrow. Fishermen living along and off South Gujarat and North Maharashtra coasts are advised not to venture into the sea till tomorrow morning. The severe cyclonic storm Ockhi will move over east- central Arabian sea and move further north-northeastwards with a speed of 21 kmph and lay centred over east-central Arabian sea at latitude 17.5 N and Longitude 70.4 E, about 480 km southwest of Surat and 300 km west-southwest of Mumbai. The NDMA said light to moderate rainfall is expected at most places in Maharashtra with isolated heavy rainfall also likely over north Konkan, Palghar, Thane, Raigarh, Greater Mumbai, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Pune districts. It is very likely that the cyclone will to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by tonight. Minor damage to loose unsecured structures and minor damage to banana trees, agriculture near coast due to salt spray is expected.
Damage to ripe paddy crops and minor damage to 'kutcha' embankments are expected. Damage is expected in south Gujarat including Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir-Somnath, Bhavnagar districts, Daman, Diu, and Dadra, Nagar Haveli. Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy rainfall very likely over Andaman and Nicobar Islands during next three days. The NDMA predicted formation of a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal during the next few hours and it will further intensify into a deep depression during subsequent two days. The well marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman sea persists. It is very likely to move west-northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu, south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next three days. The NDMA said people when asked to evacuate, should move to a designate cyclone shelter with safety kit and store dry food and water in abundance, keep torch and hurricane lantern/emergency light handy and keep listening to battery operated radio for latest information. The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, has been reviewing the rescue and relief operations being carried out in high seas and coastal areas hit by Cyclone Ockhi. The NCMC yesterday took stock of the preparedness in Maharashtra and Gujarat which are likely to be impacted by the cyclone, an official statement said.
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