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India cyclone weakening but still 'a threat'

Pesdestrians hit by big waves
Pedestrians are caught unaware as a giant wave lashes a popular promenade in Bombay  


AHMEDABAD, India -- A cyclone threatening the western coast of India for several days has weakened but could possibly hit Gujarat state by Sunday evening.

The Indian Metereological Department (IMD) officials in Ahmedabad, Gujarat's main city, said the storm was some 550 kilometers (344 miles) southwest of the port of Veraval and was moving in a north-northwesterly direction.

Reuters reported authorities in the state have evacuated thousands of people from low-lying areas in the Kutch region. The state has issued an alert and has placed the army on standby.

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Weather officials said on Friday that if the cyclone continued moving in a northwesterly direction, the Gujarat coast would be out of danger. But they warned that the storm could change course.

"It could possibly take a recurve and hit the Gujarat coast between Veraval and Nalya by Sunday evening," an IMD official said.

The Gujarat state was devastated by an earthquake in January.

All ports in the coastal region including Kandla, one of the country's biggest ports, remained closed as a precautionary measure.

Reuters contributed to this report.







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• The Gujarat Earthquake
• Government of India
• Indian Metereological Department

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