Cyclone Vayu: 2.15 lakh people evacuated in Gujarat

Army, IAF teams on standby as cyclone Vayu moves closer to Gujarat coast

Winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour were forecast and a storm surge up to 2 metres above astronomical tides, which would inundate low-lying areas, according to the India Meteorological Department. It will skirt through coast of Veraval, Porbandar and Dwarka.

"Very severe cyclonic storm" Vayu is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on June 13.

Weather officials said Cyclone Vayu, with wind speeds equivalent to those of a Category 1 hurricane, is set to cross the coast with sustained wind speeds of 145 kph to 155 kph (90 miles per hour to 96 mph), and could gust as high as 170 kph (106 mph). Its effect will be seen on the coastal regions as there will be heavy wind speed and heavy rain as well.

The Airports Authority of India announced that flight operations will remain suspended at five airports in Gujarat for 24 hours from midnight Wednesday to minimise the damage to airport infrastructure and to avoid inconvenience to passengers due to the cyclone.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 40 teams along the coastal areas of the State and Diu in view of the anticipated landfall of the cyclonic storm.

Cyclone Vayu appears to have changed course overnight.

Waves crash against the jetty at a fishing harbour ahead of the expected Cyclone Vayu at Veraval in Gujarat. "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.

CM Rupani while speaking to news agency ANI said, "I request the tourists visiting Gujarat and going to Somnath, Dwarka, Kutch, Sasan to leave for safer places after the afternoon of 12 June".

The meeting was attended by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr. M. Rajeevan and senior officers from the IMD and Ministry of Home Affairs. The Gujarat and Diu administration are evacuating about three lakh people from the identified vulnerable areas and they are being shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters.

Diving and rescue teams and relief materials have been kept on standby for rendering assistance to civil authorities, as required, another official said.

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