Cyclone Vayu to affect 3 lakh people in Gujarat, Diu

An India Meteorological Department scientist monitors Cyclone Vayu inside his office in Ahmedabad, India, June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave

The Gujarat state administration has been put on high alert in view of impending cyclonic storm "Vayu", which is expected to hit the coastal towns of Porbandar, Mahua, Veraval and the Union Territory of Diu by Thursday.

The cyclone has been located around 650 km south of Veraval coast and is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by late Tuesday night.

"Gujarat and Diu administration have planned to evacuate about 3 lakh people from the identified vulnerable areas starting early morning of 12th June, 2019. The evacuated people will be shifted to around 700 cyclone/relief shelters. In consultation with state administration, 39 NDRF Teams are being pre-positioned in and around Diu for helping the state/UT administration in evacuation, search, rescue and relief operations. In addition, 34 teams of Army are also put on stand-by," a press release issued by the central government stated.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told reporters that people living along the coastal belt will be shifted to safer places. He said that all the precautions are being taken to minimise the damage and for this officials are in touch with Odisha government to get disaster management techniques which they adopted to tackle cyclone “Fani".

"We have cancelled leaves of all the employees concerned and asked them to join the duty. After the Cabinet meet tomorrow (Wednesday), all the ministers will go to various districts to oversee relief and rescue operations," he added. Late on Tuesday evening, Rapuni held an emergency meeting in Gandhinagar with senior officers.

The government has also announced leaves in schools and colleges on June 12 and 13 in coastal districts such as Bhavnagar, Amreli, Botad, Junagadh, Gir-Somnath, Porbandar, Devbhumi Dwarka,  Jamanagar, Morbi, Rajkot and Kutch.

The chief minister also postponed school enrollment drive which was slated to begin from June 1 to 15.

Rupani said that the next two days— June 13 and 14— are going to be crucial. All the activities in the sea have been cancelled including the Ro-Ro ferry services.

 Warnings of heavy to very heavy rain, thunderstorm with gusty wind at 40 to 50 kmph have also been issued in south and north Gujarat.

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