Cyclone Maha moves away from UAE, but may cause water surge
The NCM is closely monitoring the impact of the cyclone.
The UAE's east coast has been spared from the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Maha after it changed direction and weakened from category 2 to category 1, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) said on Monday.
The cyclone, previously forecast to go northwestward in the centre of the Arabian Sea, is headed northeastwards by Tuesday morning and expected to further weaken gradually into a tropical storm in the next 48 hours, the NCM said.
The NCM, however, is closely monitoring the impact of the cyclone, which is expected to bring rough seas offshore. "Water surge may affect low land during the period of the high tide over the east coast till Wednesday. Maha will bring higher waves, but the rest of the UAE is unlikely to feel any effect," the NCM told Khaleej Times over the phone.
Cyclone Maha comes after some low-lying areas in Sharjah and Fujairah were flooded last week following rains and storm surge brought by Cyclone Kyarr. A hotel worker in Dibba Fujairah had drowned after he was caught in the high waves. An overnight storm caused flooding in Sharjah's Kalba city, with authorities having to evacuate 20 families. Schools were closed and roads had to be shut temporarily due to the flooding. Wind speeds hit 240kmph - the strongest in the UAE in a decade.
Although there is no direct impact from Cyclone Maha on the UAE, authorities have advised residents to stay clear of the shoreline and be safe as low-lying areas in the east coast of the UAE - particularly Khor Fakkan, Dibba and Fujairah - are still at risk from a storm surge.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall in the northwest of India by Wednesday or Thursday. According to the India Metrological Department (IMD), Maha will bring heavy rain to Maharashtra and Gujarat. After hitting Gujarat, it is expected to steadily lose intensity, becoming a tropical depression by early Friday morning.
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