Vayu the ‘Very Severe’ cyclonic storm is hitting the coasts of Gujarat today. The state has initiated an impressive rescue effort. Over 2.5 lakh people in 500 coastal villages are evacuated to safer locations. Heading towards the Saurashtra coast on Thursday afternoon. Vayu is the deadliest storm to hit the state since 1998 when a cyclone had ravaged Kandla a coastal town, killing 1,241 people.
The cyclone is to pack wind speeds of 155-165kmph and is moving at a speed of 16kmph. Furthermore, Vayu is projected to hit the coast between Dwarka and Porbandar, west of Veraval, by 3 pm.
‘After making landfall, it will move parallel to the Saurashtra-Kutch coast and affect Amreli, Gir Somnath, Diu, Junagadh, Porbandar, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Kutch and Dwarka.’ Jayanta Sarkar, director, IMD-Gujarat to a news agency.
Meanwhile, five people died of lightning strikes in Dang, Tapi and Narmada districts on late Tuesday evening. Gusting winds and rain hit the region with the arrival of the cyclone.
The cyclone could potentially cause damage in districts of Amreli, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Junagadh, Gir-Somnath, Jamnagar and Kutch. Vayu will rush through the state for the next four days beginning today and remain a severe cyclonic storm on June 15 when it moves north.
Is it going to be the Worst Storm ever?
State and central agencies raced against time to shift villagers to safety and set-up efforts to minimise the damage to life and property. Special kind of buses is arranged for around 10,00 tourists and pilgrims at Dwarka, Porbandar and Somnath.
Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (PGVCL), which supplies electricity to entire Saurashtra, has formed 634 teams that are equipped to restore power supply that could be cut due to the uprooting of poles.
The Airports Authority of India will suspend operations at five airports- Porbandar, Diu, Bhavnagar, Keshod and Kandla. For 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday midnight due to the approaching storm. AAI has also asked Indian Air force to suspend civil flights from Bhuj and Jamnagar defence airports. However, they are reviewing if flight operations can continue at Surat airport.
The state began to judge the cyclone’s impact with several parts of Saurashtra and south Gujarat to get moderate to heavy rainfall. Extremely turbulent weather prevailed in the coastal towns. And dust storms hit visibility, more evidently around the Somnath temple adjoining Veraval. Extremely rough waves of 10-15 feet were hammering the coast.
Chief minister Vijay Rupani sent out an appeal to people to shift from the vulnerable area. ‘Considering the forecast of very heavy rain and stormy sea conditions, there is a possibility of flash floods in the coastal areas. We have directed all district collectors to ensure 100% evacuation in the 10km area coast’.
The government have asked people to stay indoors.
Source: Times of India
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