NEW DELHI: Nearly three lakh people are being evacuated from the western coast as Gujarat prepares for Cyclone Vayu, which is inching closer to the coast. The entire coastline, from Kutch to south Gujarat has been put on “high alert”. Schools and colleges in the coastal districts are closed today and tomorrow. Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reviewed the preparations for Cyclone Vayu. The Union Home has sent detailed advisories to Gujarat and the Union Territory of Diu. The monsoon hit the southwestern state of Kerala last week but was several days late.
Here are the top 10 updates on Cyclone Vayu:
- The Cyclone Vayu is expected to hit the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region. Strong winds will be seen in these areas.
- It is likely to damage thatched houses, blow away rooftops and metal sheets, disrupt power and communication lines and cause major damage to roads and crops, the weather department said.
- An Indian Air Force aircraft with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel landed in Jamnagar this morning for rescue and relief work. The army, the coast guard, Border Security Force (BSF) and other agencies too have been roped in.
- Gujarat and Diu authorities are planning to evacuate about three lakh people from vulnerable areas from this morning. The people will be shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters.
- Vayu, which intensified into a “severe cyclonic storm” will bring with it heavy rain and strong winds. Low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts are likely to be flooded at the time of landfall, the Met office said.
- Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea along and off the Gujarat coast till June 15, as well as near the Maharashtra coast today and tomorrow. Strongs winds were seen in Mumbai today with reports of trees being uprooted in parts of the city.
- Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has appealed tourists in areas such as Dwarka, Somnath, Sasan and Kutch to leave for safer places from this afternoon. He said that state transport services will be asked to help the tourists to move to safer places. The Gujarat government has also cancelled the three-day Shala Praveshotsav (“welcome to the school” festival).
- Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Cyclone ‘Vayu’ is about to reach Gujarat coast. I appeal to all Congress functionaries of Gujarat to be ready to help in all the areas that come in the way. I pray for the safety and well-being of all the people in the areas affected by the cyclone.”
- Cyclone Vayu will also trigger heavy rain and Goa and the Konkan region for the next two days, with an “orange” warning for Goa.
- Ten Chinese vessels have been allowed to stay at the Ratnagiri port in Maharashtra on humanitarian grounds after they sought shelter to avoid being hit by the fury of Cyclone Vayu’, the Indian Coast Guard said.