Monster waves lashed the coast of Gujarat in western India today, as Cyclone Biparjoy, which has developed into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS), raced towards landfall. Estimates suggest that Biparjoy (pronounced be-pur-joy) — a Bengali word that means “calamity” or “disaster” — could make landfall either within India or in Pakistan anytime in the next three days.
By evening today, it was predicted that Biparjoy would make landfall near Jakhau port in Gujarat on Thursday. However, the coastal areas near Karachi have also braced for the cyclone’s landfall.
Reports from Mumbai today spoke of “tidal waves” caused by the cyclone. Though nothing that huge has shown up yet, powerful Arabian Sea waves kept crashing on the promenade near South Bombay’s Gateway of India, flooding the road that runs parallel to the sea.
As for the cyclone’s path, a statement from the India Meteorological Department said, “[Biparjoy] is very likely to move nearly northwards till 14th morning, then move north-northeastwards and cross Saurashtra and Kutch (in Gujarat) and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) near Jakhau Port (Gujarat) by noon of 15th June as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph.” Latest reports suggest that Biparjoy is now “extremely severe” rather than “very severe”.
A video shared on Twitter today showed storm clouds hanging menacingly over Mundra port in Kutch, swirling in the sky.
Press Trust of India reported, “Officials said [that] authorities in the coastal districts of Kutch, Porbandar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Morbi began evacuating people residing near the sea and had suspended fishing activities as well as hoisted warning signals at ports.”