Rediff.com  » News » High alert in Gujarat as cyclonic storm Vayu closes in

High alert in Gujarat as cyclonic storm Vayu closes in

Last updated on: June 12, 2019 09:39 IST

Officials said the cyclone is likely to affect Kutch, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts. 

IMAGE: School students pray as Cyclone Vayu intensifies. Photograph: ANI

Parts of Gujarat are bracing for impact from strengthening Cyclone Vayu, which is expected to slam into the state early Thursday, even as plans are afoot to shift people in the coastal belt to safer places.

The Gujarat administration is on high alert to deal with the cyclone, which is likely to hit the state coast near Veraval, officials said.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said people living in the coastal belt would be shifted to safer places.

 

As per the latest weather report, the cyclonic storm Vayu has intensified into severe cyclonic storm.

The weathermen also said the speed of "Vayu" has increased to 17 km per hour in the last six hours of the evening.

"It is very likely to move nearly northwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph during early morning of June 13," as per Mumbai regional office, India Meteorological Department

The cyclone is located in the Arabian Sea, about 350 km west-northwest of Goa, 410 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 530 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat), it said.

Officials said the cyclone is likely to affect Kutch, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts.

The department has warned fishermen against venturing into sea as the cyclonic storm is getting intensified.

IMAGE: An India Meteorological Department scientist monitors Cyclone Vayu inside his office in Ahmedabad. Photograph: ANI

Rupani told reporters in Gandhinagar that the entire coastline, starting from Kutch to south Gujarat, has been put on "high alert".

The officials concerned are in touch with the Odisha government to learn and implement the disaster management techniques adopted by them when cyclone Fani hit the eastern coastal state recently, he said.

"We have cancelled leaves of employees concerned and asked them to join duty. After the Cabinet meet tomorrow, all the ministers will go to various districts to oversee relief and rescue operations," he said.

"June 13 and 14 are crucial for us. We have roped in the Army, NDRF, Coast Guard and other agencies for rescue and relief work. We will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations," he said.

After a review meet with district collectors and other 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 help of 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," Kumar said.

While the cyclone's impact will most likely be in Kutch and Saurashtra regions, two NDRF teams have also been deployed in south Gujarat to deal with any eventuality, Kumar informed.

Apart from people, authorities also aim to shift livestock to safer places, he said, adding that separate teams have been formed to expedite repairing work of roads, removing debris and restoring electricity.

IMAGE: The cyclone would leave its impact on the coastal districts, including Kutch, Bhavnagar, Gir-Somnath, Porbandar, Amreli and Junagadh. Photograph: ANI

Onset of cyclone "Vayu" will trigger heavy rains in Goa and the Konkan area for the next two days, the IMD said .

The department has issued the "orange" warning for Goa in view of the deep depression over East Central and adjoining South East Arabian sea, which has intensified into cyclonic storm.

"Goa will receive widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places on June 12. There will be fairly widespread rainfall with heavy falls at isolated places on June 13 too," the India Meteorological Department said.

Meanwhile, sea water levels exceeded its usual limit Tuesday, prompting the authorities to close the shoreline for swimming.

Gujarat ports and transport department principal secretary Sunaina Tomar said a disaster management plan has been put in place at all ports of the state.

"We have installed power generators at all the ports. Cargo and Ro Ro ferry operations have been halted. Leaves of port and transport employees have been cancelled," said Tomar.

State meteorological centre director Dr Jayanta Sarkar said the cyclonic storm is very likely to move northwards and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva, that is near Veraval, as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of around 120 kmph.

"This may go up to 135 kmph during early morning of June 13," he said, adding that fishermen who ventured into the sea have been called back.

A distant warning number 2 (DW-2) signal has been hoisted at the major ports of Gujarat to alert locals as well as fishermen, Sarkar said.

The cyclone would leave its impact on the coastal districts, including Kutch, Bhavnagar, Gir-Somnath, Porbandar, Amreli and Junagadh, he said.

"It would also bring heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the region. Rain would also occur in some pockets of south Gujarat. The cyclone's effect will prevail over Gujarat on June 12, 13 and 14," he added.

Meanwhile, a Coast Guard official said 10 Chinese vessels have sought shelter at Ratnagiri port in neighbouring Maharashtra to avoid being hit by the cyclone.

The Chinese vessels have been allowed to stay at Ratnagiri port under security cordon on humanitarian grounds, he said.

Amit Shah reviews cyclone Vayu preparations

Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reviewed the preparations for cyclone Vayu and directed officials to ensure all possible steps for the safety of people, officials said.

The National Disaster Response Force has pre-positioned 26 teams, comprising about 45 personnel each, and the rescuers are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments.

The NDRF is also moving another 10 teams as requested by the Gujarat government.

After review, the home minister directed the senior officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated.

He also told them to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, drinking water and their immediate restoration in the event of damages caused to them, a home ministry official said.

The ministry is in continuous touch with the state governments and Union territories like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Daman and Diu, which may be affected due to the cyclone.

Shah also gave instruction for round the clock functioning of control rooms.

The meeting was attended by Union home secretary, secretary in the ministry of earth sciences, and senior officers of the IMD and the MHA.

Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha has also convened a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee later in the day to review the preparedness of states and central agencies, the official said.

Chief secretary of Gujarat and advisor to administrator of Diu are scheduled to attend the meeting.

© Copyright 2019 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
SHARE THIS STORY