'Maha' intensifies into severe cyclonic storm: IMD

Cyclonic storm 'Maha' in the Arabian Sea has intensified into severe cyclonic storm on Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said.

The Cyclonic storm 'Maha' over Lakshadweep and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea moved further north-northwestwards and intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and lay centered over eastcentral Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area about 90 km north-northeast of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep) and 25 km east-north east of Chetlat(Lakshadweep), IMD said.

It is "very likely" to continue to move north-northwestwards across north Lakshadweep Islands.

Later, Maha is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm over east central Arabian Sea during 24 hours, it said.

As the cyclone intensified, the IMD said gale winds very likely to increase upto 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph over eastcentral Arabian Sea from midnight.

During the next 24 hours, gale wind speed reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100kmph was likely to prevail over northern parts of Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea during the subsequent 24 hours and decrease gradually.