Cyclone Vayu moving towards Gujarat coast, Amit Shah chairs high level meet to review preparations

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 12 June 2019, 08:28 AM
Cyclone Vayu to cause heavy rainfall in Gujarat (Representational Image/PTI)
Cyclone Vayu to cause heavy rainfall in Gujarat (Representational Image/PTI)

Cyclone Vayu, a powerful storm formed over the Arabian Sea near Lakshadweep islands, is further moving towards the north and may hit Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva at around Veraval and Diu region at the speed of up to 140-150 kmph to 165 kmph on Thursday morning. On Wednesday, it is expected to lay centered over Eastcentral Arabian Sea, about 450 km west-northwest of Goa, 290 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 380 km nearly south of Gujarat's Veraval.

In the wake of this severe cyclonic storm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a fresh warning of heavy rains, accompanied with gusty winds at a speed of over 110 kilometre per hour on Thursday and Friday, in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch.

While the Gujarat government is on high alert to avoid any untoward incident due to 'Cyclone Vayu', Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday also took stock of the preparations, directing officials to ensure all possible steps for the safety of people. Shah 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 any damage to them, the official said.

READ | How Cyclone Fani got its name and why next cyclone will be called 'Vayu': All you need to know

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) 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 ministry has also issued detailed advisories to the concerned authorities, requesting them to take all precautionary measures with a view to ensure that no human life is lost, damage to vital infrastructure is minimised and there is early recovery of all essential services post-cyclone landfall. Shah gave instruction for round the clock functioning of control rooms in all the states concerned.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has pre-positioned 39 NDRF teams, comprising about 45 rescuers each, in Gujarat and Diu and they are equipped with boats, tree-cutters and telecom equipment. As many as 34 teams of Army are also on standby.

The Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, Army and Air Force units have also been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance. The Air Force deployed a C-17 transporter aircraft to carry out Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations.

Arrangements are also in place to warn people of the impending cyclone through announcements in media and bulk SMS. Reviewing the preparedness of the state and central agencies, the Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha directed that people from vulnerable areas be moved to safer places, and essential food, drinking water and medicines be stocked.

READ | Cyclone Vayu: Two-day holiday declared in schools, colleges in several parts of Gujarat

Sinha, who chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), to review preparedness relating to Cyclone Vayu, said all possible measures are to be taken to avoid any human casualty and adequate preparations should be made to restore any damage that may be caused to infrastructure.

Chief secretaries and other officers of Gujarat and Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli participated in the NCMC meeting through video conference. Senior officers from the ministries of home, shipping, railways, power, telecommunications, defence, fisheries, IMD, NDMA and NDRF also took part in the meeting.

First Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 08:14 AM
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