300,000 evacuated as India braces for Cyclone Vayu

Gujarat Cyclone Warning

300,000 evacuated as India braces for Cyclone Vayu

A Red Alert has been issued by authorities for Cyclone Vayu, earlier today, which is likely to hit Gujarat coast on the early morning of June 13.

After India's home minister, Amit Shah, held a meeting Tuesday with government and military officials, the air force airlifted 40 National Disaster Response Force rescue and relief teams to the western coast.

The IMD said Wednesday that the cyclone has a wind speed of 145 to 155 kmph gusting to 180 kmph and has changed its course, due to which it could now make a landfall between Dwarka and Veraval on the Saurashtra coast.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani told reporters that 130,000 people had been shifted to safer locations as of Wednesday afternoon. The State government has also appealed the tourists to leave to safer places. The ministry is in continuous touch with the state governments and Union territories like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Daman and Diu, which may be affected due to the cyclone.

The severe cyclonic storm may cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat along with storm surge that can cause deluge in the low lying coastal regions of Porbandar, Dwarka, Somnath, Junagarh, Diu, Gir, Amreli & Bhavnagar.

A deep depression over the Arabian Sea which brewed over the past two days has intensified into a cyclonic storm and is likely to hit the Gujarat coast on June 13 morning, the India Meteorological Department said Tuesday.

"In addition to this, various safety and security precautions are also being taken by the Western Railway for train passengers of these prone areas under the jurisdiction of WR - Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham", the railways said in a latest bulletin. "Considering the alertness for Cyclone Vayu over Gujarat, the Western Railway has made a decision to fully cancel operation of 70 mainline trains, while 28 other mainline trains will be short terminated with partial cancellation as a precautionary measure in the cyclone prone areas".

The port at the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat has suspended all operations. "These are equipped to undertake disaster relief operations and highly mobile deployable radar have also been placed at a high state of readiness in Gandhinagar", Wing Commander Puneet Chadha, Defence PRO, Gujarat said.

The weather department has issued a warning of heavy rains and high winds on June 13 and 14 in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch.

More than 2.15 lakh people were evacuated to safety with scores of buses and three special trains pressed into service.

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