Cyclonic storm "Vayu" has intensified into severe cyclonic storm, the IMD said Tuesday. The state government has made a decision to deploy 15 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from June 11 morning.
Cyclone Vayu which brought heavy rains in Gujarat and Maharashtra, is likely to make landfall on Thursday, crossing the Gujarat coast at a speed of 135 kilometer per hour, according to the Indian Meteorological Department.
Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea. "The Ministry of Home Affairs is in continuous touch with the state governments and the Central agencies concerned", an official statement said.
Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh said that around 280,000 people from the vulnerable areas along the coast would be evacuated from Wednesday.
Weather officials said Cyclone Vayu, with wind speeds equivalent to those of a Category 1 hurricane, is set to cross the coast with sustained wind speeds of 145 kph to 155 kph (90 miles per hour to 96 mph), and could gust as high as 170 kph (106 mph).
As many as 52 teams of the National Disaster Management Relief Force (NDRF), comprising around 45 rescuers each, have been moved to the state, while 10 columns of the Indian Army have been kept on standby.
Nayara Energy, owned by a consortium led by Russia's Rosneft, said it was monitoring the situation and also taking precautionary measures at its Gujarat refinery. Schools as well as colleges in 10 districts where the cyclonic storm is expected to hit will be kept closed tomorrow & day after.
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The port at the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat has suspended all operations.
The government has also put the Army, the Navy and the Coast Guard on alert.
The Western Railway cancelled 70 trains and short-terminated 28 others due to Cyclone Vayu.
The Western Railway has chose to short-terminate 28 trains and cancel 40 trains, including Veraval-Amreli Passenger, Amreli-Junagadh, Delvada-Veraval, on Wednesday and Thursday. "These are equipped to undertake disaster relief operations and highly mobile deployable radar have also been placed at a high state of readiness in Gandhinagar", Wing Commander Puneet Chadha, Defence PRO, Gujarat said.
Thunderstorm and lightning accompanied with gusty wind are likely to occur at isolated places in the districts of North Gujarat region on June 13, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.
The state government has launched a massive evacuation exercise to shift about 300,000 people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions.