Shops and business establishments in Gujarat’s Kutch district opened shutters on Saturday in signs of return to normalcy as authorities stepped up efforts to restore electricity in several towns and hundreds of villages battered by Cyclone Biparjoy.
The weather system, which hit the landmass near Jakhau port as a very severe cyclonic storm on Thursday evening, turned into a deep depression and will further lose steam to become a depression, the India Meteorological Department said in its latest update.
However, heavy to very heavy rains will likely continue in many northern districts of the state, it said.
Home Minister Amit Shah will visit the cyclone-affected areas of Jakhau and Mandvi and hold a review in Bhuj with those managing relief and rescue operations, said officials.
It is not raining in Kutch and the wind speed has also significantly reduced after the cyclone passed through the area, they said.
While the administration has cleared uprooted trees from most of the roads, it is working to restore electricity in towns like Bhuj and Mandvi and many villages, they said.
To restore electricity, 1,127 teams are working in the districts of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Morbi, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Rajkot and Porbandar, the state government said in a release on Friday, adding that the forest department teams removed 581 fallen trees from the roads.
Shops and business establishments opened in Kutch district on Saturday morning as life limped back to normalcy. The anticipated landfall of Biparjoy had prompted the government to shift more than 1 lakh people living in vulnerable areas of the state.
“Deep Depression (Remnant of Cyclonic Storm Biparjoy) at 0830 hours IST of today,17th June over Southwest Rajasthan adjoining Gujarat and Southeast Pakistan about 80 km south of Barmer and 210 km southwest of Jodhpur. To weaken into a Depression during the next 06 hours,” the IMD tweeted.
Apart from Kutch, the worst affected district due to Biparjoy, parts of Devbhumi Dwarka, Banaskantha and Patan were among the districts that received very heavy rainfall on Friday.
Heavy rains continued in several parts of Banaskantha and Patan on Saturday morning.
As per the Gandhinagar-based State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC), Santalpur taluka of Patan, and Vav and Danta in Banaskantha and Poshina in Sabarkantha districts received between 40-50 mm rainfall in four hours since 6 am on Saturday.
The IMD has forecast of heavy to very heavy rains with isolated extremely heavy rainfalls in Banaskantha district as well as in Patan, Mehsana and Kutch till Sunday morning.
It has also warned of likely heavy rains at isolated places in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, Surendranagar and Morbi districts during this period.
While parts of Gujarat will continue to receive rainfall till Wednesday morning, the IMD has said there is no heavy rainfall warning for the state from Sunday morning.
Commissioner of Relief Alok Kumar Pandey said earlier that not a single person died due to any incident linked to the cyclone in the state, calling it the government's "biggest achievement."
Among 1,09,000 persons shifted from coastal areas to temporary shelters, there were 10,918 children, 5,070 senior citizens and 1,152 pregnant women, the government had said in a release.