With Cyclone Vayu set to make landfall on June 13, the Gujarat State authorities have swung into action, ordering closure of schools for three days in coastal districts and deploying NDRF teams.
Cyclonic storm “Vayu” has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, forcing authorities to put Gujarat on high alert.
The State authorities have swung into action, ordering closure of schools for three days in coastal districts and deploying teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and asking fishermen to return to the coast from high seas.
Authorities have also begun evacuation of people from low lying or vulnerable areas in the coastal districts.
The cyclone is set to make a landfall near Veraval in Gir Somnath district on June 13 but it will be preceded by heavy rainfall in isolated places, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Wind speeds at 145-155 kmph gusting to 170 kmph
The very severe cyclone Vayu is now 340 kms south of Veraval, the Gujarat Information Department has said.
According to a statement, the cyclone is likely to move nearly northward and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva, around Veraval and Diu.
"Wind speeds are at 145-155 kmph gusting to 170 kmph around morning on June 13, 2019," the statement said.
State authorities have begun evacuation of people from low lying or vulnerable areas in the coastal districts.
Around 3 lakh people from Gujarat and the Union Territory of Diu will be shifted to the more than 700 shelters set up by the authorities.
“Evacuation of people from low lying/vulnerable areas in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch to safe shelters is going on since early morning. Urging people to cooperate with administration,” said Pankaj Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) in Gujarat.
Airports to remain shut
Gujarat’s Rajkot, Porbandar and Bhuj airports will remain shut on Wednesday, June 12.
“No flights have landed at the airport since 9.50 p.m.,” a Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. spokesperson said on June 10. A United Air flight from Newark scheduled to land in Mumbai was diverted to Delhi.
All other incoming flights were put on a holding pattern and were circling Mumbai. Landings resumed at 10.45 p.m. with an Indigo flight from Hyderabad being the first to touch down. A Thai Airways flight hit a guard light and sign board, while vacating the runway. The runway remained closed for clearing of debris, adding to the delays.
As per the information received from ATC, 22 flights (six international and 16 domestic) were diverted to Delhi, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad airports on June 10.
Vayu brings temperatures down
There was heavy rain accompanied by thundershowers and lightning in Andheri, Malad, Thane, Mulund, Navi Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivali, Sion, Kurla, Vikhroli, Ghatkopar and Dadar on June 11.
The eastern and western suburbs, especially, reported heavy rainfall between 10pm and 11pm. Malvani recorded 50 mm of rainfall, followed by Malad (44), Kandivali (49), Andheri (West) (41), Goregaon (37) and Mulund (31).
Fishermen pull their boats out of the sea at Worli village on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Cyclone Vayu is set to make landfall on June 13.
| Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini
Speed at 17 km per hour
The IMD has said the speed of “Vayu” had increased to 17 km per hour and was located in the Arabian Sea, about 350 km west-northwest of Goa, 410 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 530 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat).
“It is very likely to move nearly northwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and the Diu region as a severe cyclonic storm, with a wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph during early morning of June 13,” the IMD said.
The cyclone will make a landfall near Veraval in Gir Somnath district on June 13 but it will be preceded by heavy rainfall in isolated places.
Schools, colleges and anganwadis in coastal districts to remain shut
“June 13 and 14 are crucial for us. We have roped in the Army, the NDRF, the Coast Guard and other agencies for rescue and relief work. We will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told media persons on Tuesday.
After a review meet with District Collectors and officials, Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Pankaj Kumar said schools, colleges and anganwadis in coastal districts would remain shut on June 12 and 13.
“In all, 36 NDRF teams will be deployed for rescue operations. We have also roped in Army, Navy, Coast Guard and BSF units. If needed, we will also take the help of the Air Force. We have ordered schools, colleges and anganwadis in the districts which are likely to be hit by the cyclone to remain shut on June 12 and 13,” Mr. Kumar said.
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