Monday, 16 September, 2019

Cyclone Vayu set to strike Gujarat, prompting evacuation of 300,000 people

Cyclone VAYU intensifies into very severe cyclonic storm Cyclone Vayu unlikely to impact Kerala, yellow alert in a few districts
Deanna Wagner | 13 June, 2019, 07:59

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from India's western Gujarat state ahead of a huge cyclone expected to make land with gusts of up to 170 kilometers an hour. The government has evacuated around 3.1 lakh people, and as many as 52 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed for rescue and relief operations. So far, more than 74,000 people have been relocated from the affected coastal areas.

The storm is expected to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat.

"Equipment and heavy machinery has been moved to safety at respective airports and the airport directors of AAI's Bhuj and Jamnagar Airports have been asked to write to the Indian Air Force to suspend operations of civil flights from these two airports also".

Schools and colleges will remain closed for two days from today in all the 10 districts of Saurashtra.

Action Taken by the Government to prevent Gujarat from Cyclone Vayu.

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"We had earlier planned to shift only those living in kutchha (thatched) houses but in the wake of forecasts that the cyclone could be severe, chose to shift all the people in coastal villages", Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who had a review meeting with the state administration at the State Emergency Operations Centre, told reporters.

Warships and aircraft of the Indian Navy have been kept standby as well. In addition, six teams will be airlifted from Patna and INS Rajali. "A ship from the western region has also been diverted to northwest region for the post-cyclone landfall for providing search and rescue requirement and other emergency developing at sea off the Saurashtra and Kutch region", it said.

Sardar Sarfraz, the department's spokesperson, said that the cyclone is 700 kilometre away from Karachi.

As cyclone "Vayu" advances towards Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday advised people to follow real-time information being provided by local agencies to stay safe.

Air passengers to and from the megapolis had a tough time Wednesday as almost 400 flights were affected due to bad weather caused by the cycle Vayu which hit the neighbouring Gujarat coast, according to an airport official. "We want to locate them and move them to a safer area", a forest official said.