A Ministry of Earth Sciences official on Friday warned that Cyclone Vayu is likely to curve back and hit Kutch on June 17 or June 18, PTI reported. This comes hours after Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said that the storm no longer posed a threat to the state as it had moved towards Oman.

“Vayu is likley to recurve on June and hit Kutch on June 17-June18,” M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, told PTI. He said the intensity of the storm may also reduce and that it may make landfall as a cyclonic storm or a deep depression. The government has been informed about this sudden potential outcome, Rajeevan added.

“The system is very likely to move nearly westwards during next 48 hours and recurve northeastwards thereafter,” India Meteorological Department said in its forecast on Friday.

However, Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre Additional Director Manorama Mohanty has said that it is “too early to predict”. “The report says it may recurve in the next 48 hours,” PTI quoted her as saying. “But it is also possible it may weaken by then and dissipate in the sea itself. Thus, it is too early to predict that it will come back and hit the Kutch coast.”

The National Disaster Response Force personnel will continue to remain at their posts along the coastline for the next two days.

“Even if it comes back to Kutch or Saurashtra after 48 hours, the system may have weakened significantly,” Gujarat Chief Secretary JN Singh said. “If something happens on June 17 and 18, we are ready for that.”

Rupani had on Friday asked around 2.75 lakh people, who were evacuated from the coastal areas, to return to their homes. “The government has decided to call back all senior ministers and officials that were sent to tackle the situation in 10 areas that were expected to be affected,” he had said. The state government is also going to pay an allowance of Rs 5.5 crore to the evacuees for daily expenses over the next three days, the chief minister had said.

On Wednesday evening, the Gujarat government had evacuated nearly three lakh people and Diu over 10,000 people from low-lying areas after Cyclone Vayu turned into a “very severe” storm.