In a press release, Indian Meteorological Department issued a warning about the severe cyclonic storm Mekunu on Saturday. IMD mentioned that in West Central Arabian Sea, near the south-western coastline of India wind speed can reach up to 90-100 kilometres per hour.
“Waves as high as 3 meters to 3.2 metres will hit shore”, it predicted. Fishermen have also been advised not to venture out into West-central Arabian sea for at least the next 12 hours. Drishti Marine, an agency appointed by the Goa state government has been appointed for lifeguard duties. They have informed that people are also not being allowed to venture into the sea.
“The cyclonic storm Mekunu brewing in the south-west Arabian Sea is expected to impact sea conditions,” said a statement from Drishti Marine, the agency appointed by the state government for life guard duties.
Rough seas and high-speed winds are expected over the next three days, the advisory stated, adding that there is a possibility of surge of waves during high tide in the low-lying areas.
The lifeguard agency patrolling Goa’s beaches has advised people not to venture out to sea till Sunday because of a cyclonic storm Mekunu, NDTV reported. Drishti Marine said there was a possibility of a surge of waves in the Arabian Sea during high tide in low-lying areas.
The cyclone, which is expected to make landfall in Oman near the city of Salalah on Friday afternoon, is also likely to cause heavy rainfall along India’s western coast, the India Meteorological Department said. But the system is expected to move away from the Indian coast and “no adverse weather is expected along and off west coast of India and Lakshadweep”, the department added. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into west-central Arabian Sea till May 26.
The cyclone has been upgraded to a Category 2 storm. It has been named Mekunu, which is a Maldivian name, because it originated northwest of the archipelago. It is expected to make landfall at Salalah between 1 pm (2.30 pm Indian Standard Time) and 4 pm (5.30 pm Indian time), The Times of Oman reported. Weather charts showed wind speeds would range between 148 kmph and 157 kmph.
The Indian Meteorological Department said the storm packed maximum sustained winds of 170-180 kilometres (105-111 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 200 kph (124 mph). It has termed the cyclone as “extremely severe”.
Cyclone Mekunu blew into the Arabian Peninsula early on Saturday, drenching arid Oman and Yemen, cutting off power lines and leaving at least three dead and 40 missing, officials said. As many as three people including a 12-year-old girl died in Oman while 40 others are still missing from the Yemeni island of Socotra, which earlier took the storm’s brunt, local police said.
Apart from this, many holidaymakers at Oman have fled the storm on Thursday night before the airport closed. The Port of Salalah – a key gateway for the country – also closed, its cranes secured against the pounding rain.
“Of course, for the citizen, there is going to be a sense of fear of the consequences that can happen,” said Brig. Gen. Mohsin bin Ahmed al-Abri, the commander of Dhofar governorate’s police. “We have been through a few similar cases and there were losses in properties and also in human life as well. But one has to take precautions and work on that basis,” he added.