8,000 evacuated in western India as Cyclone Phet intensifies

12:25, June 03, 2010      

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More than 8,000 people have been evacuated from the coastal and low-lying areas of Gujarat as Cyclone Phet intensified to a very severe cyclonic storm causing strong winds, thunderstorm and rainfall across the western Indian state, a senior government official said Thursday.

"The people have been evacuated after Cyclone Phet is building up in the Arabian Sea and has intensified into a super cyclone. Already heavy rainfall has started in many coastal districts, including Jamnagar, Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Surat, Rajkot, Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The state has been put on high alert," the official said.

However, there's some good news as the cyclone has changed its course somewhat and instead of advancing towards the Gujarat coast, it is now heading towards the coast of Oman in the Arabian Peninsula. But it will be back towards the Karachi and Gujarat coasts over the weekend. We are not taking any chances," he said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has said that Cyclone Phet will nonetheless bring more rain over Gujarat and Maharashtra.

"The fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea, " a meteorological official said.

Source: Xinhua


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