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Cyclone Vayu: Nearly three lakh to be evacuated in Gujarat

Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a high-level meeting and directed officials concerned to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated

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Cyclone Vayu: Nearly three lakh to be evacuated in Gujarat
An IMD scientist monitors Cyclone Vayu at his office in Ahmedabad
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    Cyclone Vayu, which makes landfall at Gujarat coast near Veraval early on Thursday morning, has put the entire state machinery on high alert, officials said.

    Almost 300,000 people are set to be evacuated in Gujarat out of the path of the severe cyclonic storm due in two days, authorities said.

    After an emergency meeting, state chief secretary JN Singh said: “We have identified 2.91 lakh people living in low-lying areas of 10 coastal districts who will be evacuated by Wednesday afternoon.” 

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a high-level meeting and directed officials concerned to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated. 

    Shah also instructed that essential services like power, telecommunications and water supply be maintained through the storm, or restored immediately in case they get damaged. 

    The meeting was attended by Union Home Secretary, senior officers in the home ministry, secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences, and senior India Meteorological Department  officials.


    (An NDRF team checks rescue material in Naroda on Tuesday —AFP)

    The home ministry is in touch with authorities including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Daman and Diu, which may be vulnerbale. IMD officials said the cyclone is likely to dump rain in Kutch, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said people living in the coastal belt would be shifted to safer places. 

    The officials concerned are in touch with the Odisha government to implement disaster management techniques adopted when cyclone Fani hit the eastern coastal state recently, 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. To minimise human casualty, we will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations,” he said.  “All schools and colleges in the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch would remain close on June 12 and June 13 as a precautionary measure,” said JN Singh.

    He added that 67 shelter homes have been set up to accommodate those displaced.

    Chinese boats off Maha

    As cyclone Vayu was intensifying in Arabian Sea, some Chinese boats Tuesday sought shelter from authorities off Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, a Coast Guard official said.

    As per IMD communication Tuesday, the speed of “Vayu” has increased to 17 km per hour in the last six hours of Tuesday evening.

    STATE BRACES FOR STORMY MORNING

    Cyclone Vayu, a severe cyclonic storm, to make landfall tomorrow

    WIND SPEEDS

    • 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph
       
    • Storm surge about 1-1.5 metre high above astronomical tides
       
    • Guj coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region vulnerable

    FORCES TO THE RESCUE

    • Coast Guard, Navy, Army and Indian Air Force on alert
       
    • Surveillance aircraft and helicopters deployed
       
    • NDRF has per-positioned 26 teams of 45 personnel each equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom gear, etc

    EXPECTED AFTERMATH

    • Heavy rainfall in coastal districts; inundation of low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Saurashtra, Diu, etc
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