Cyclone Vayu changes course, moves further into sea

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Rajkot: While Gujarat evacuated about 3 lakh people and Diu evacuated over 10,000 people from low-lying areas, the Cyclone Vayu will not hit Gujarat as it has changed its trajectory overnight and moved further into the sea, the IMD said.

However, the western coast continues to be on high alert as strong winds and rough seas are expected for the next 24 to 48 hours.

As per the latest report by the IMD, the Very Severe Cyclonic Storm “Vayu” over EC Arabian Sea moved NNW-wards in last 6 hrs. It is 130 km SW of Veraval and 180 km South of Porbandar. The storm is likely to move north-westwards skirting the Saurashtra coast. The wind speed is expected to be around 135-145 kmph from this afternoon.

Cyclone Vayu, now classed as a “very severe cyclonic storm”, was expected to hit the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Veraval in the south this afternoon.

An alert has been sounded in 10 districts of Gujarat since the cyclone’s impact is expected to remain strong for 24 hours even after its landfall, said officials.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has pre-positioned 52 teams, equipped with boats, tree-cutters and telecom equipment, for rescue and relief operations.

Indian Coast Guard, Navy, Army and the Air Force units have been put on standby while aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance.

A total of 10 columns of the Army, each comprising 70 persons, have been deployed in Jamnagar, Gir, Dwarka, Porbandar, Somnath, Morbi, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Amreli, while another 24 columns have been put on standby to carry out rescue and relief operations.

Food packets being prepared by various groups in Rajkot, in the light of Cyclone Vayu. The food packets will be dispatched to the cyclone-affected areas of the state, as per the instructions by the govt officials.

Air passengers to and from Mumbai had a tough time Wednesday as nearly 400 flights were affected due to bad weather caused by the cyclone Vayu which hit the neighbouring Gujarat coast. Similarly, 70 trains have been cancelled by the Indian railways as Cyclone Vayu inches closer to the Gujarat coast.

Meanwhile, the shed at the entrance of Somnath Temple, in Gir Somnath district, has been damaged due to strong winds owing to Cyclone Vayu.

In view of Cyclone Vayu in the Arabian Sea coupled with the high tide on June 12 and 13, all beaches in Kokan region have been shut off to the public.

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