Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

300,000 evacuated as India braces for Cyclone Vayu

300,000 evacuated as India braces for Cyclone Vayu

"The state government has chose to suspend operations at all the ports situated on Gujarat's coast".

The severe cyclonic storm may cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat along with storm surge that can cause deluge in the low lying coastal regions of Porbandar, Dwarka, Somnath, Junagarh, Diu, Gir, Amreli & Bhavnagar.

Total 10 districts and 408 villages of the Saurashtra region of the state are likely to be impacted.

State Relief director M R Kothari said, "The evacuation process, which was started today morning, is nearing its end". "The government's success would be in zero death", he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that they will be provided shelter in government buildings or those owned by various trusts and NGO.

It further informed that ships and aircraft of this region were dispersed at various places to enable search and rescue readiness post landfall of cyclone. Overall, 35 teams will be made available across the coastal district.

The Western Naval Command, Mumbai is ready with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks, and relief material has already been embarked on board nominated ships, which are ready to be deployed at short notice.

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.

"Gujarat chief secretary had called me up and discussed the measures to be taken ahead of the landfall. As we do not know when the cyclone will strike", Rupani told reporters at an emergency response centre in Gandhinagar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday advised people in his home state to follow real-time information being given by local agencies to stay safe.

The Indian air force, coastguard and navy have all been put on high alert, with 36 teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deployed in coastal areas. "The NDRF has pre-positioned 52 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc".

At winds of up to 200 km/h (125mph), it was more potent than Cyclone Vayu is predicted to be.

The direction of the cyclone, however, changed on Wednesday evening, and it is now likely to strike anywhere between Porbandar and Veraval on the Saurashtra coast by Thursday afternoon.

Sardar Sarfraz, the department's spokesperson, said that the cyclone is 700 kilometre away from Karachi.

Flight operations will remain suspended at five airports in Gujarat for 24 hours from Thursday 12 AM, the Airports Authority of India announced.

The Western Railways cancelled 70 trains and curtailed the journeys of 28 others as Cyclone Vayu inched closer to the Gujarat coastline, growing stronger along the way.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd is preparing to move employees at two ports it runs to safer areas, a spokesman said.

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