Gujarat on high alert; to seek Odisha’s help in tackling cyclone Vayu

According to the IMD, the cyclone is likely to move almost northwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval & Diu region as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph during early morning of June 13, 2019. The government has evacuated around 3.1 lakh people, and as many as 52 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed for rescue and relief operations.

"This cyclone is just parallel to the Goa coast and it is not going to strike over Goa but because it is parallel, the wind speed will be very high and clouding and thundering will be intense", he said. He also recommended help from the state transport services which will provide tourists to move to safer places before the cyclone is expected.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned the cyclone could hold up the progress of annual monsoon rains, as the storm drew rain clouds from over the sea.

India's biggest oil refinery, owned by Reliance Industries, is in Gujarat, though a company official said the cyclone was expected to weaken by the time it reached the Jamnagar-based refinery. "Indian Coast Guard, the navy, army and air force units have also been put on standby".

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has mobilized 35 teams in Gujarat and four in Diu in coordination with local administration.

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Almost 300,000 people on India's west coast are being evacuated ahead of Cyclone Vayu, which is now moving at a speed of 110 km per hour in the Arabian Sea, r eported Reuters.

"In addition to this, various safety and security precautions are also being taken by the Western Railway for train passengers of these prone areas under the jurisdiction of WR - Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham", the railways said in a latest bulletin. Schools as well as colleges in 10 districts where the cyclonic storm is expected to hit will be kept closed tomorrow & day after.

"It is very likely to be 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph over South Gujarat and Maharashtra Coasts" on June 12, while it could go up to 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph over north Arabian Sea on June 13.

Heavy rains are very likely at isolated places in districts of South Gujarat region, in Navsari, Valsad, Daman, Dadra Nagar Haveli on 12 June, according to IMD. It now lays centered 760 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 930 km south-southwest of Veraval in Gujarat. "To minimise human casualty, we will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations from tomorrow", he said.

  • Sonia Alvarado