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 (IMD) said on Tuesday.
Cyclone ‘Vayu’ is further likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours, the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said in a bulletin.
“It is very likely to move nearly northward and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed 110-120 kilometres per hour gusting to 135 kilometres per hour during early morning of June 13,” the bulletin said.
In its forecast for June 13, the IMD said,”Gale wind speed of the order of 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph very likely over north Arabian Sea and Gujarat coast in morning hours and decrease gradually thereafter. It is very likely to be 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph over north Maharashtra Coasts and northern parts of eastcentral Arabian Sea.”
The IMD has issued a warning of heavy rains and high winds at a speed of over 110 kilometres per hour on June 13 and 14 in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch.
The Gujarat government is on high alert. It deployed National Disaster Response Force personnel in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch on Tuesday morning.
It has advised fishermen against venturing into the sea in the next few days, while ports have been directed to flag a danger signal.
“Storm surge of height of about 1-1.5 metres above the astronomical tides likely to inundate the low lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts at the time of landfall,” the weather office said in the bulletin.
Last month, ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ ‘Fani’ had battered Odisha and killed over 60 people.
Amit Shah reviews cyclone Vayu preparations.
Home minister Amit Shah reviewed the preparations for cyclone Vayu which is expected to make a landfall in Gujarat, and directed officials to ensure all possible steps for the safety of people, officials said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has pre-positioned 26 teams, comprising about 45 personnel each, and the rescuers are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments. The NDRF is also moving another 10 teams as requested by the Gujarat government.
After review, the home minister directed the senior officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated. He also told them to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, drinking water and their immediate restoration in the event of damages caused to them, a Home Ministry official said.
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 Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, Army and Air Force units have been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance, the official said.
Shah also gave instruction for round the clock functioning of control rooms.
Gujarat on alert, people from coast to be evacuated.
The Gujarat administration is on high alert to deal with cyclone ‘Vayu’, which is likely to hit the state coast near Veraval, officials said.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said people living in the coastal belt would be shifted to safer places.
Rupani told reporters in Gandhinagar that the entire coastline, starting from Kutch to south Gujarat, has been put on “high alert”.
The officials concerned are in touch with the Odisha government to learn and implement the disaster management techniques adopted by them when cyclone Fani hit the eastern coastal state recently, he said.
“We have cancelled leaves of all the employees concerned and asked them to join the duty. After the Cabinet meet tomorrow, all the ministers will go to various districts to oversee relief and rescue operations,” he said.
“June 13 and 14 are crucial for us. We have roped-in the Army, NDRF, Coast Guard and other agencies for rescue and relief work. To minimise human casualty, we will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations from tomorrow,” he said.
Gujarat ports and transport department’s principal secretary Sunaina Tomar said a disaster management plan has been put in place at all ports of the state.
“We have installed power generators at all the ports. Cargo and Ro Ro ferry operations have been halted. Leaves of port and transport employees have been cancelled,” said Tomar.