News Flash – 4 November 2019

National News



IMD says Cyclone Maha may Hit Gujarat Coast on Nov 6-7, 296 Boats Still Mid-Sea



Ahmedabad: India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday has predicted that cyclone Maha is likely to make landfall on Gujarat coast between Dwarka and Diu between November 6 and 7. The forecast comes at a time when 296 boats from Jakhau in Kutch district are still midsea. the cyclone could take form of ‘severe to very severe storm’ while approaching the coast, resulting in severe winds gusting up to 100-120 kmph accompanied with heavy rainfall. An alert has been sounded in the coastal districts of Saurashtra. Meetings of disaster committee were held in Valsad and Navsari districts, where heavy rain is expected. Maha, the third cyclone this season in the Arabian Sea after Vayu and Kyarr, was at the distance of 550km southwest of the Veraval coast on Sunday evening. Jayanta Sarkar, regional director, IMD, said the current forecast points at the cyclone making landfall on Gujarat coast between Diu and Dwarka. “It would re-curve towards Gujarat coast November 5 onwards and is likely to make the landfall on night of November 6 or early on November 7,” he said.



“The wind speed would increase up to 120 kmph which would be accompanied by heavy rainfall in coastal region of Gujarat”. Sarkar added that almost all the regions of Gujarat are also likely to get rainfall from November 6 to 8. The impact of the cyclone is likely to reduce from November 8. IMD and state administration officials said that they are keeping a close watch on the development as the cyclone. Both Vayu and Kyarr cyclones have affected the Gujarat coast. Now, with the possibility of Maha making a landfall, the entire coastal area is put on alert, said IMD officials. State government officials said that administration of all the coastal districts has been put on alert and teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) would also be mobilized from Monday. Evacuation from some of the coastal areas is also likely to reduce the impact, said officials.



When Flights Hit ‘Air Pocket’ at IGI: 19 Cancelled, More Than 300 Delayed


New Delhi: Hundreds of people were left stranded on Sunday after smog wreaked havoc on flight schedules. As many as 19 flights were cancelled at the last moment; nearly 300 were delayed and 37 others were diverted on a day when Delhi gasped for breath. Due to poor visibility at Delhi airport, 37 flights were diverted between 9 am and 1 pm to places like Jaipur, Amritsar, Lucknow and Mumbai. With the air quality reaching apocalyptic levels, a public health emergency had been declared in Delhi on Friday. In a tweet, Delhi Airport stated: “Due to low visibility, flight operations…are affected. All CAT-II compliant pilots able to operate.” Travellers were asked to check with airlines for latest updates. According to the Met department, visibility dipped to below 200 metres at 8am at Safdarjung; at Palam, it was down to 300 metres. It was around 1pm, officials said, that flight operations were majorly affected. While takeoffs and landings continued, some flights were impacted due to crew operational limitations. An airport official said airlines had to reschedule many flights.



Air India asked passengers to check the flight status before reaching the airport. By evening, 19 flights, four of which were Air India’s AI467/468 (Delhi-Vijayawada Delhi), AI473/474 (Delhi Bhubaneshwar Delhi), AI853/854 (Delhi- Pune Delhi) and AI801/802 (Delhi Bangalore Delhi) had been cancelled. Air India tweeted: “Due to poor visibility conditions at @Delhi Airport arrival and departure of flights are delayed. ETD for few flights has been revised. Pax are advised to check flight status before leaving for Apt. To get timely updates pleasure your contact details are updated with us (sic).” SpiceJet, too, warned its passengers: “Due to poor visibility at Delhi (DEL), all departures/arrivals and their consequential flights might get affected (sic)”. Indira Gandhi International Airport is one of the busiest in the country and handles more than 1,500 arrivals and departures daily. Dheeraj Kumar, a naval officer, said he boarded a flight from Bangkok to Delhi at 12pm, but while he was midair, there was an announcement about the smog. “We were made to land in Jaipur. I reached Delhi only around 3pm and, by that time, the meeting for which I had come was already over,” he said.

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