Storm to miss coast but IMD warns of high wind speed, substantial damage in state’s coastal towns


Cyclone Vayu in Gujarat LATEST updates: “Even though Cyclone Vayu is not hitting Gujarat there is still a danger of destruction. We are expecting winds to hit speeds of 100 to 135 kilometres per hour. The NDRF and coast guard have evacuated many areas along the coastline as a precaution,” Jayant Sarkar IMD Ahmedabad told News18

Manorama Mohanty, scientist at India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ahmedabad said that Cyclone Vayu won’t hit Gujarat now as it has changed course overnight. It will skirt through coast of Veraval, Porbandar and Dwarka. Its effect will be seen on the coastal regions as there will be heavy wind speed and heavy rain as well.

Air passengers to and from the megapolis had a tough time Wednesday as nearly 400 flights were affected due to bad weather caused by the cycle Vayu which hit the neighbouring Gujarat coast, according to an airport official.

Cyclone Vayu appears to have changed course overnight. According to the IMD, it moved north-northwestwards in the last six hours and is currently 130 km southwest of Veraval in Gujarat and 180 km south of Porbandar. It is likely to move north-northwestwards for some time and then northwestwards, skirting the coast of Saurashtra with wind speeds of 135 kmph to 145 kmph from Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday, an alert was sounded in 10 districts of Gujarat as Cyclone Vayu has turned “very severe” and its impact is expected to remain strong for 24 hours even after its landfall, officials said. As many as 52 teams of the National Disaster Management Relief Force, comprising around 45 rescuers each, have been moved to the state, while 10 columns of the Indian Army have been kept on stand-by.

 Cyclone Vayu in Gujarat LIVE updates: Storm to miss coast but IMD warns of high wind speed, substantial damage in states coastal towns

Waves crash against the jetty at a fishing harbour ahead of the expected Cyclone Vayu at Veraval in Gujarat. Reuters

Warships and aircraft of the Indian Navy have been kept standby as well. A general alert has been sounded across 10 districts in Gujarat as wind speeds are likely to touch 170 kilometres per hour, a home ministry official said.

Vayu has turned into a “very severe” cyclone and it is expected that its impact will continue to be strong for 24 hours even after the landfall between Porbandar and Union Territory Diu, the official said.

Normally a cyclone becomes weak after its landfall. Residents of some of the Gujarat districts have been asked to move out to safer places or cyclone shelters.

Meanwhile, home secretary Rajiv Gauba on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee where preparation for relief and rescue operations were discussed threadbare.

The meeting took stock of the precautionary measures taken by the Gujarat government and Diu Union Territory administration to ensure that no human life is lost, damage to vital infrastructure is minimised and to ensure early recovery of all essential services post-cyclone landfall.

Diving and rescue teams and relief materials have been kept on standby for rendering assistance to civil authorities, as required, another official said. Medical teams and facilities at Indian Naval hospital in Mumbai are on standby to handle medical emergencies.

Both the administrations have also been advised for timely evacuation of people from low-lying coastal and vulnerable areas. The Gujarat and Diu administration are evacuating about three lakh people from the identified vulnerable areas and they are being shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters.

With inputs from PTI

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