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Gujarat on high alert for cyclone

June 13, 2019

Gujarat is geared up for Cyclone Vayu which is predicted to hit the state today. Nearly three lakh people have been evacuated. The entire coastline, from Kutch to south Gujarat was put on high alert with schools and colleges closed yesterday and today.

Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the preparations for the cyclone and sent advisories to Gujarat and Diu, the neighbouring union territory. The cyclone is likely to land between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region, where strong winds were seen. It could damage thatched houses, blow away rooftops and metal sheets, affect power and communication lines and cause major damage to roads and crops, the weather department has warned.

An Indian Air Force aircraft with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel landed in Jamnagar on Wednesday morning for rescue and relief work. The army, the coast guard, Border Security Force (BSF) and other agencies are placed here as well.

Vayu, which intensified into a "severe cyclonic storm" will bring with it heavy rain and strong winds. Low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts are likely to be flooded at the time of landfall. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea along and off the Gujarat coast till 15 June.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has asked tourists in some parts to leave for safer areas. The three-day Shala Praveshotsav has also been cancelled.

Among those to tweet was Congress president Rahul Gandhi who said:

Cyclone 'Vayu' is about to reach Gujarat coast. I appeal to all Congress functionaries of Gujarat to be ready to help in all the areas that come in the way. I pray for the safety and well-being of all the people in the areas affected by the cyclone. - Rahul Gandhi, Congress president

Cyclone Vayu will also trigger heavy rain and Goa and the Konkan region for the next two days, with an "orange" warning for Goa. Ten Chinese ships have been allowed to stay at the Ratnagiri port in Maharashtra on humanitarian grounds after they sought shelter to avoid being hit by the cyclone.

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