The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has slightly toned down the wind speed and gusts at landfall of very severe cyclone Biparjoy by this (Thursday) evening near Jakhau Port in North-West Gujarat. But this may not offer any significant give-away in terms of expected severity of the monstrous storm while crossing coast.

Biparjoy was located 180 km West-South-West of Jakhau Port; 210 km West of Devbhumi Dwarka; 210 km West-South-West of Naliya; 290 km West-North-West of Porbandar; and 270 km South-South-West of Karachi in Pakistan. The IMD has now assessed that the cyclone will be buffeted by winds with maximum sustained speeds of 115-125 km/hr gusting to 140 km/hr.

Also read: Cyclone Biparjoy less than 200 km from Gujarat coast; 74,000 evacuated

Heavy rain forecast

Light to moderate rainfall is expected at most places over Kachchh, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts in Gujarat on Thursday, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places. It will be heavy to very heavy over Porbandar, Rajkot, Morbi and Junagarh districts, and Isolated heavy to very heavy over the rest of Saurashtra and North Gujarat.

As for the next two days, light to moderate rainfall is likely at most places over North Gujarat and adjoining South Rajasthan on Friday, with heavy to extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places. On Saturday, a similar forecast will be valid for South-East Rajasthan and adjoining North Gujarat, the IMD said.

Also read: Cyclone Biparjoy: Mobile users in districts likely to be affected to be allowed porting of services

Economic loss assessment

Global geospatial technology solutions consultancy RMSI has assessed the very severe cyclone Biparjoy could lead to an approximately estimated economic loss of about ₹830 crore ($100million) due to wind, storm surge, and flooding for the exposure elements considered (listed in tables below). Agriculture is expected to suffer maximum loss.

It analysed the potential wind impact from Biparjoy based on IMD bulletin issued on June 12 at 11.30 am. The very severe cyclone will majorly impact Gujarat’s coastal districts. Detailed impact in terms of the economic loss is provided in the tables. 

Table 1: Impact on buildings (Rs Lakh)

HazardResidentialCommercialIndustrialTotal
Wind5501503001,000
Storm surge 42020400840
Flood650504001,100

Table 2: Impact on exposure elements (Rs Lakh)

HazardTransportationEssential facilitiesUtilitiesAgricultureTotal
Wind80601,80075,10077,040
Surge4,200170800-5,170
Flood880160701201,230

RMSI cited the IMD’s original predictions that Biparjoy is likely to cross the Saurashtra and Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coast Thursday evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 km/hr, gusting to 150 km/hr and weakening later into a depression by Friday. An orange warning has been issued for the Saurashtra and Kutch coasts. 

The storm surge warning map from RMSI based on IMD’s forecasted track of Biparjoy.

The storm surge warning map from RMSI based on IMD’s forecasted track of Biparjoy. | Photo Credit: RMSI

Also read: Cyclone Biparjoy: Western Railway cancels 7 more trains 

Gujarat is most likely to bear the direct impact, with the storm crashing through houses, communication networks and standing crops, as well as damaging power lines in Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Morbi, and Junagarh and Rajkot districts.

Likely affected population along the Gujarat coast from approaching very severe cyclone Biparjoy.

Likely affected population along the Gujarat coast from approaching very severe cyclone Biparjoy. | Photo Credit: RMSI

The rainfall intensity will likely increase from light to moderate to extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over Saurashtra, Kutch, and Jamnagar. The low-lying areas face the threat of a storm surge of about 2-3 metres in these districts during landfall. 

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