Gujarat braces for cyclonic storm Vayu as it turns severe, likely to slam the state early Thursday

Gujarat braces to cope with cyclonic storm Vayu as it intensifies into a severe cyclonic storm, likely to slam into the state early Thursday  

There is high alert in parts of Gujarat as cyclonic storm Vayu is strengthening. The cyclone is likely to push into the state early Thursday. Plans are afoot to shift people in the coastal belt to safer places.

As per the latest weather report, the cyclonic storm Vayu has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm. The weathermen also said the speed of “Vayu” has increased to 17 km per hour in the last six hours of the evening.

The Gujarat administration is on high alert to cope with the cyclone, which is likely to slam the state coast near Veraval, officials said.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said people living in the coastal belt would be shifted to safer places.

According to the India Meteorological Department, Mumbai regional office, the cyclone is very likely to move nearly northwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph during the early morning of June 13.

The cyclone is located in the Arabian Sea, about 350 km west-northwest of Goa, 410 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 530 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat), it said.

Officials said the cyclone is likely to affect Kutch, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts.

Rupani told reporters in Gandhinagar that the entire coastline, starting from Kutch to south Gujarat, has been put on “high alert”.

“After the Cabinet meet tomorrow, all the ministers will go to various districts to oversee relief and rescue operations,” he said.

Army, NDRF, Coast Guard and other agencies roped in for rescue and relief work

“June 13 and 14 are crucial for us. We have roped in the Army, NDRF, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy and other agencies for rescue and relief work. We will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations,” he said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Pankaj Kumar said schools, colleges and Anganwadis in coastal districts would remain shut on June 12 and 13.

While the cyclone’s impact will most likely be in Kutch and Saurashtra regions, two NDRF teams have also been deployed in south Gujarat to deal with any eventuality, Kumar informed.

Apart from people, authorities also aim to shift livestock to safer places, he said, adding that separate teams have been formed to expedite repair work of roads, removing debris and restoring electricity.