NEW DELHI: Gujarat government on Wednesday evacuated over 2.7 lakh people from 10 coastal districts as “very severe cyclonic storm” Vayu inched closer to the state coast. Here is a look at the latest developments-
* “IMD has officially informed that the Vayu cyclone has changed the course and now it will not make landfall on Gujarat coast. However still while skirting through Gujarat coast it may cause heavy wind and rain so we are still on stand by mode. All forces will remain on alert mode till situation does not becomes normal,” Pankaj Kumar (IAS), additional chief secretary, revenue department and in-charge of the cyclone relief activity said.
Live updates: Cyclone Vayu
* The MeT department alerted that though the eye of the cyclone may or may not hit Porbandar, the system will still have an impact on the coastal regions. “Extent of cyclone is over 900 km. So while eye of cyclone may or may not hit Porbandar, system will still hit.Accompanying risk factors such as wind and storm surge and rainfall, all three stay very much threat factors. Hence please don’t relax in preparedness,” IMD Mumbai said.
* Earlier, the forecast said that Vayu is expected to cross Gujarat coast between Dwarka and Veraval as a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a wind speed of 155-165 km per hour gusting to 180 km per hour on Thursday afternoon.
* Flight operations from Ahmedabad to Porbandar, Diu, Kandla, Mundra, and Bhavnagar are cancelled for Thursday. All other scheduled flights are likely to operate normally. However, passengers are requested to check with the airlines concerned for updated information, according to Airports Authority of India.
* The operations at all the ports along the state’s coastline have been suspended by the state government till the cyclone recedes.
* GSRTC has cancelled nearly 17 bus services towards Veraval, Diu, Porbandar and Okha. We are also prepared to provide buses to district collectorates for relief and rescue operations.
* Western Railways has decided to fully cancel the operation of 15 mainline trains while 16 trains will be short terminated.
* Cyclone Vayu is the second deadliest cyclone to hit the state since 1998 that had ravaged port town Kandla killing 1,241 persons.
* As many as 2.81 lakh people in 500 coastal villages were shifted to safer locations as the state and central agencies stepped up efforts to minimize damage to life and property. However, thousands have resisted evacuation attempts, preferring to stay back either to guard their property and means of livelihood or expressing their willingness to move only if the situation worsens.
* Around 10,000 tourists and pilgrims in Dwarka, Porbandar and Somnath were also shifted out of the towns in specially arranged buses.
* State-run Pashchim Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (PGVCL), which supplies electricity to entire Saurashtra, has formed 634 teams that are equipped to restore power supply that could be snapped due to uprooting of poles.
* Gujarat Chief minister Vijay Rupani made a fervent appeal to people to shift from vulnerable areas. “Considering the forecast of very heavy rain and stormy sea conditions, there is possibility of flash floods in the coastal areas. We have directed all district collectors to ensure 100% evacuation in the 10 km areas from the coast,” he said.