NEWS
12/06/2019 3:25 PM IST

Cyclone Vayu: Gujarat Evacuates 3 Lakh In Saurashtra, Kutch; Flight & Train Services Affected

It would hit the coast near Veraval on Thursday morning. The Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Border Security Force have been put on high alert.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
This satellite image provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows Cyclone Vayu on Wednesday.

As Cyclone ‘Vayu’ advances towards the Gujarat coast, the state government has launched a massive evacuation exercise to move about three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions, officials told PTI.

According to the latest weather information, the cyclone has intensified into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and is located around 340 km south of Gujarat’s Veraval coast.

It will hit the coast near Veraval as a very severe cyclonic storm “with a wind speed of 145 to 155 kmph gusting to 170 kmph around the morning of 13 June,” a release issued by the meteorological department said.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre is constantly monitoring the situation and NDRF and other agencies are working round the clock to provide all possible assistance.

Gujarat prepares 

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani reviewed preparedness for evacuation operations at state emergency operation center in Gandhinagar.

He said, according to News18, that 47 NDRF teams have been positioned across Gujarat’s coastal districts and that all fishermen have returned back. 

The state government said the cyclone is likely to affect Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts.

People living in low-lying areas of these 10 districts are being shifted to safer places, it said, according to PTI.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that the evacuated people would be provided shelter in government buildings or those owned by various trusts and NGOs. 

As a precautionary measure, holiday has been declared in schools, colleges and ‘anganwadis’ (government-run women and child care centres) on 12 and 13 June in these 10 districts, he said.

The Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Border Security Force have been put on high alert.

The Army has deployed 10 columns in the coastal areas of Gujarat. It has kept 24 columns on standby and is ready to carry out the rescue and relief operations, a defence spokesperson said in a release, PTI reported.

Each column has a strength of about 70 personnel.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has also tweeted a list of do’s and dont’s. 

Flight and train services

Flight operations from Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Porbandar, Diu, Kandla, Mundra and Bhavnagar have been cancelled for Thursday, reported ANI.

All passengers and mail trails to Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham stations will be cancelled or short terminated from 6 pm till Friday morning, ANI added.

(With PTI inputs)