Cyclone Vayu: Amit Shah chairs high-level meeting to review preparedness

Gujarat Cyclone Warning

Cyclone 'Vayu' intensifies into severe cyclonic storm

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an alert in Gujarat as the Cyclone Vayu intensifies in Arabian Sea.

"It is very likely to move almost northward and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed 110-120 kilometres per hour gusting to 135 kilometres per hour during early morning of June 13", the bulletin said.

The cyclone is expected to be closest to the Saurashtra Coast by June 12 and between June 12 and June 14, the western-most parts of Saurashtra and Kutch region in Gujarat could witness squally winds and heavy to very heavy rains, MeT officials said. Additionally, India's National Disaster Response Force has pre-positioned 26 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecommunications equipment and moving another 10 teams at the request of the State Government of Gujarat.

On Monday, the depression over south-east adjoining Lakshadweep and east-central Arabian Sea, moved northwards with a speed of about 31 kilometres per hour. It is likely to move north-northwestwards during the next three days (by Thursday). Yet, it warned fishermen from venturing into the sea till June 13.

"In the meeting with the state government authorities, all possible safety and preventive measures were duscussed, including the deployment of NDRF, SDRF and Army personnel", said Sarkar who was part of the meeting. We have roped-in the Army, NDRF, Coast Guard and other agencies for rescue and relief work.

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"This may go up to 135 kmph during early morning of June 13", he said.

In an advisory for Gujarat ports, Gujarat Maritime Board CEO Mukesh Kumar said, "All port users, stakeholders and agents are advised to take all necessary precautions and advise all the vessels arriving at Gujarat ports". Tides are also likely to inundate the low lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts at the time of landfall.

Chief Secretary J.N. Singh said as of now there was no need for immediate evacuation from coastal districts in a hurry but "if the cyclone somehow changes direction or intensifies in the next 24 hours, a decision would be taken accordingly".

The state has been reeling under soaring mercury levels for several weeks where the maximum temperature was around 43-44 degrees Celsius at several locations.

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