Over 5000 shifted as Gujarat braces for cyclone

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The National Disaster Management Authority asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out to sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to the cyclone. Reports said that heavy rainfall warning has been issued for Tuesday in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Nandurbar, Dhule, Nasik and Jalgaon districts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted regarding Cyclone Ockchi, asking the Gujarat government to be ready for the extended support to help out people. "The intensity of rains will increase as the cyclone approaches", the official said. By the time it reaches Surat city, wind speed is expected to be 30-35 km. Former Congress strongman Shankersinh Vaghela, who floated his Jan Vikalp front, was also forced to cancel his roadshows and rallies that were to be held in Junagadh, and Mahuva and Palitana towns of Saurashtra, a leader of his outfit said. Schools in 16 villages in Ahmedabad will also stay closed on account of Cyclone Ockhi.

Due to the impact of the cyclone, Mumbai and its suburbs received rains since Tuesday morning, but the weather eased by afternoon even as a hailstorm lashed some sections of the Munbai-Pune Expressway.

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Beside Modi's rally, a public meeting of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari in Surat on Wednesday have also been postponed.

Amid the heat of the Gujarat polls, cyclone Ockhi, eddying menacingly towards the state's coast, poured cold water on the campaigning today, forcing cancellation of rallies of several top leaders, including those by BJP chief Amit Shah and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.