Cyclone Vayu: Cyclonic storm to hit Gujarat tomorrow, evacuation begins; schools shut
Ahmedabad, June 12: Gujarat has been put on alert with likely Cyclone Vayu closing in on the Arabian Sea coast bringing heavy rains across the state. As the cyclone continued to progress towards Saurashtra and Kutch regions of neighbouring Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) upgraded its severity condition. "Cyclone Vayu has turned into a very severe cyclonic storm. It would cause gusty winds to blow at a speed of 145 kmph to 170 kmph by Thursday morning," the IMD said.
Vayu, which intensified into a "severe cyclonic storm" will bring with it heavy rain and strong winds. Low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts are likely to be flooded at the time of landfall, the Met office said. Schools and colleges in the coastal districts are closed today and tomorrow.
Mumbai and some neighbouring coastal areas of Maharashtra witnessed a windy Wednesday morning as cyclone 'Vayu' turned into a "very severe cyclonic storm", the weather department said.
Operations at all ports and airports located near the Gujarat coastline have been halted temporarily as a precautionary measure against cyclone 'Vayu', the state government said.
The Gujarat government said it has evacuated a total of 1,64,090 people in ten coastal districts to safer places in view of cyclone Vayu which will make landfall on Thursday.
Meanwhile NDMA has issued a list of do's and don'ts
#CycloneVayu to hit #Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Diu and Veraval on 13th Jun early morning as a very severe cyclonic storm with wund speed around 150 kmph gusting upto 170 kmph. pic.twitter.com/cqp0guzuBl— NDMA India (@ndmaindia) June 12, 2019
Western Railways cancells trains
In view of the Cyclone Vayu slated to hit Gujarat on June 13 (Thursday), the Western Railway has announced several safety and security measures, including cancellation of trains till tomorrow and scheduling of special evacuation trains today.
In a press release on Wednesday, Western Railways said that all Passenger, Mail and Express trains plying to Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham in Gujarat will be short terminated or cancelled from 6 pm on Wednesday (June 12) to morning of Friday (June 14).
Navy, NDRF on standby
An Indian Air Force aircraft with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel landed in Jamnagar this morning for rescue and relief work. The army, the coast guard, Border Security Force (BSF) and other agencies too have been roped in.
Gujarat and Diu authorities are planning to evacuate about three lakh people from vulnerable areas from this morning. The people will be shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea along and off the Gujarat coast till June 15, as well as near the Maharashtra coast today and tomorrow.