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IMD issues red alert for Cyclone Vayu

Date: 12 June 2019 Tags: Geography & Environment

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued the highest-level alert, red, for Cyclone Vayu that will make landfall in Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat. Cyclone Vayu classified as severe cyclonic storm had developed into a cyclone storm from deep depression in Arabian Sea near Aminidivi island in Lakshadweep. It is moving northward from its current position of Konkan coast. It is likely to make landfall into Saurashtra coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (around Veraval and Diu) with winds gusting up to 135kmph and storm surges of up to 1.5 metres. It will weaken after landfall but still cause fairly widespread rain over Saurashtra and Kutch.

Impact of Monsoon

Cyclone Vayu is likely to halt northward progression of monsoon for a few days, which already has delayed its arrival on Kerala coast on June 8 instead of regular onset on June 1. It is expected to interfere with normal progression, by sucking all moisture from monsoon winds towards itself.

Arabian Sea cyclones

  • Cyclones are sustained by very strong low-pressure areas at their core and winds in its surrounding areas are forced to rush towards these low-pressure areas.
  • Cyclones are common in the month of June i.e. during onset of monsoon in India, but very few of them originate in Arabian Sea and most of them are found in Bay of Bengal.
  • In the last 120 years, just about 14% of all cyclonic storms, and 23% of severe cyclones around India have occurred in Arabian Sea.
  • Arabian Sea cyclones are also relatively weak as compared to those emerging in Bay of Bengal. Most of the cyclones emerging in Arabian Sea make are usually headed towards Gujarat coastline.
  • Moreover, the region is not very densely populated as compared to coastal area in Bay of Bengal, which ensures that damage potential of cyclones on the western coast is comparatively low.
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