Cyclone Vayu intensifies into severe cyclonic storm, thousands to be evacuated

Elias Hubbard
June 12, 2019

"NDRF has pre-positioned 26 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipment etc. and moving another 10 teams as requested by the state government of Gujarat", the statement said.

"Ministry of Home Affairs is in continuous touch with the state governments and the Central Agencies concerned". A deep depression over the Arabian Sea, which has been brewing over the last two days intensified into a cyclonic storm Vayu, added the weather department.

The Gujarat Government, as per Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's instructions, has announced a two-day shutdown of all schools, colleges and anganwadis across six coastal districts in Saurashtra.

The storm that began to show signs of developing past weekend has strengthened with current wind speeds of 102 kilometres per hour, gusting to 130 km/h, making it equivalent to a tropical storm.

Heavy rainfall is expected in the different regions of Saurashtra, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Diu, Gir Somnath, and other regions in the southern regions of Gujarat, Valsad, Daman, Navsari, Dadra Nagar Haveli today.

Vayu is likely to result in heavy to very heavy showers all along India's western coastline with many parts here experiencing rough to very rough sea conditions. In addition, the rescue teams of Army, Coast Guard, SDRF and BSF are also in the readiness. Normally a cyclone becomes weak after its landfall.

It also warned the cyclone could further delay the progress of the annual monsoon rains over the rest of India, as the storm was drawing rain clouds from over the sea.

The port at the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat has suspended all operations.

India's biggest oil refinery, owned by Reliance Industries, is in Gujarat, though a company official said the cyclone was expected to weaken by the time it reached the Jamnagar-based refinery.

He told that state transport services will be asked to help and guide the tourists to move to safer places. "The disaster management plan has been put into action and all the necessary precautions are being put in place including evacuation of staff if the need arises", the spokesman said.

A powerful cyclone ravaged the eastern state of Orissa in May. The Gujarat and Diu administration are evacuating about 3 lakh people from the identified vulnerable areas and they are being shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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