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Ockhi takes wind out of Gujarat poll campaign

Ockhi takes wind out of Gujarat poll campaign
Highlights

In the middle of a major political storm, Gujarat has now been hit by an Ockhi storm with unseasonal rains disrupting the high-pitched electioneering...

Ahmedabad/Mumbai: In the middle of a major political storm, Gujarat has now been hit by an Ockhi storm with unseasonal rains disrupting the high-pitched electioneering just a few days before voting in the state. Bad weather forced the ruling BJP and the Congress to cancel rallies and campaign meetings by the leaders in the state.

The latest weather forecast said cyclone Ockhi has moved closer to the southern coast and is about 390 km from Surat. The cyclone barreled towards the Gujarat coast where it is likely to make a landfall Tuesday midnight, forcing several political bigwigs, including BJP chief Amit Shah, to cancel their rallies.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, however, made it to the state and addressed a rally in Kutch, while calling off three campaign meetings planned in Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar town. As per the latest forecast released by the Meteorological Centre here, the cyclone is approaching Gujarat steadily and now lies centred in the Arabian Sea just 390 km away from the coastline near Surat.

"It is very likely to continue to move north- northwestwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by the night of December 5," said the latest IMD bulletin. The IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall in most places with heavy rainfall at isolated places in Saurashtra and south Gujarat.

After wreaking havoc in southern states, the cyclone on Tuesday passed the Mumbai coast and much to the relief of the people, it just brought rains and there was no damage to life or property. However, the schools have been closed in Mumbai and neighbouring districts as a precautionary measure, says a Mumbai report.

The high tide scheduled at 12.43 pm did not cause any damage. Though the cyclone has passed, there could still be intermittent rains, said an official of the disaster management cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The next high tide is scheduled at midnight, but as the cyclone has passed there is no reason to worry, he added. According to BMC officials, there was no impact of the cyclone on the megapolis and road and rail traffic was normal.

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