Cyclone Biparjoy: Over 20,000 people from coastal districts shifted to temporary shelters

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone is predicted to make landfall near Jakhau port.
Last Updated : 13 June 2023, 11:59 IST

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Over 20,000 people have been shifted from eight districts of Kutch and Saurashtra coastline to safer places in view of approaching cyclonic storm Biparjoy, which is said to be making landfall between Mandvi and Jakhau in Kutch by Thursday evening with an extensive damaging potential.

Giving updates on rescue work along the coastline, Gujarat relief commissioner Alok Kumar Pandey said in a statement that more than 20,000 people have been shifted to safer places in the affected districts so far. The statement said that the evacuation was on and was likely to be completed by the evening.

Out of those evacuated, 6786 are in Kutch, 1500 in Jamnagar, 543 in Porbandar, 4820 in Devbhumi Dwarka, 408 in Gir Somnath, 500 in Junagadh, 2000 in Morbi and 4031 in Rajkot. The statement said that a total of 20,588 people have been shifted to safe places.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone is predicted to make landfall near Jakhau port as a 'very severe cyclonic storm' with maximum wind speed reaching up to 150 kilometres per hour (kmph).

According to the government, 17 teams of NDRF and 12 teams of SDRF have been deployed in eight cyclone-affected districts. Schools and government-run offices have been converted into shelter homes equipped with basic amenities including food and medicine.

The Indian Meteorological Department's latest news bulletin stated that Biparjoy was about 290 km west-south-west (WSW) of Devbhumi Dwarka, 320 km WSW of Porbandar, 320 km South West of Jakhau Port, 330 km South West of Naliya.

"We have already started evacuating people residing near the coast who are likely to be affected the most during the landfall. So far, various district administrations have shifted nearly 21,000 people to temporary shelters. The evacuation process is still on and all the targeted population will be shifted by today evening to safer places," said State Commissioner of Relief, Alok Kumar Pandey.

He said one person has died in an incident linked to the cyclone.

On Monday, one Varsha Bavaliya was killed and her husband was injured after a tree fell on their motorcycle on a state highway in Jasdan taluka of Rajkot district due to strong winds, he added.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) evacuated 50 personnel from an oil rig located 40 km off the Dwarka coast in an overnight operation amid inclement weather conditions due to the cyclone, the maritime agency said on Tuesday.

“India Coast Guard Region NorthWest evacuated 50 personnel from oil rig 'Key Singapore' 40 km seaward from Dwarka in seven sorties of overnight ops by ICG ALH aircraft and ship Shoor," the ICG said in a release.

It said the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and ship braved "very rough sea conditions" and inclement weather due to approaching Biparjoy.

Pandey said the government is constantly working to ensure that there is no loss of life due to the weather phenomenon.

He said the rescue operation is being carried out in two phases, with people residing 0 to 5 km from the seashore to be shifted first. Thereafter, people living within a distance of 5 to 10 km from the coast will be moved to safer places, with priority to be given to children, pregnant women and the elderly.

At a high-level meeting in New Delhi on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked senior officers to take every possible measure to ensure people living in vulnerable locations are safely evacuated by the state government, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

As evacuation started on Monday, Jakhau port wore a deserted look. Fishing boats were lined up on the shore to ensure that they do not suffer much damage, said officials.

Shipping activities at the country’s largest public sector port in Kandla were shut following the cyclone warning and around 3,000 people, including workers there, have been shifted to safer places, district administration officials said.

The IMD has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy rainfall in the districts of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar on June 15, when Biparjoy – which means disaster or calamity in the Bengali language – is expected to make the landfall.

It also said that a strong surface wind is likely to prevail under the influence of the cyclone during June 12-16.

The Met department has warned of wind speeds of up to 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph from the morning of June 15.

Sea conditions are likely to remain rough to very rough till the evening of Wednesday, and high to phenomenal thereafter till the noon of June 15 before improving, it said.

(With PTI inputs)

Published 13 June 2023, 09:48 IST

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