Cyclone ‘Vayu’ skirting Saurashtra coast; Over 3 lakh people evacuated to safer places
Author: Desk June 14, 2019
Cyclone Vayu changes course; IMD says the storm skirting Saurashtra coast, affecting Gir Somnath, Junagarh, Porbandar and Devbhoomi Dwarka with heavy rains and strong wind; Over three lakh people from low-lying areas near the coast evacuated to safer places; PM Modi holds telephonic talk with Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani soon after reaching Bishkek, assures all assistance and support from the Centre.
The Gujarat coast has by and large escaped the ferocity of Cyclone Vayu for which the state was bracing since 2 days. It changed course, moved north-west wards skirting the Saurashtra coast but affecting Gir Somnath, Junagarh, Porbandar and Devbhoomi Dwarka with heavy rain and strong winds.
Some places reported damage after rain lashed several coastal districts accompanied by winds of high ferocity.
Strong winds displaced the Veraval railway station board. A portion of Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple in Porbandar was washed away.
The state govt termed the situation as serious, saying the cyclone would make an impact even though the eye of the cyclone won’t touch the coast.
Cyclone Vayu may have changed its trajectory but the state govt is taking no chances. As a precautionary measure, state authorities evacuated over three lakh people from low-lying areas near the coast to safer places. Relief camps were set up, equipped with food and other facilities.
Diu witnessed heavy rain and strong winds even as its administration remained on guard.
Operations at all the ports and airports situated near the coastline have been halted.
Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and Seema Suraksha Bal personnel are on high alert. Several teams of NDRF have been deployed in coastal districts. In addition, 11 columns of the Army have been deployed and 24 teams have been kept as reserve.
A pregnant lady was rescued in a boat by an NDRF team from Zaffarbad and admitted to hospital.
Authorities had made arrangements to minimise losses.
Western Railway has also decided to run special relief trains. They will be run to evacuate people from Gandhidham, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Veraval and Okha. Two such special evacuation trains were run in Rajkot division and one in Bhavnagar division to clear passengers from coastal areas. 77 trains were cancelled and 33 trains were short terminated.
Since all the airports in Kutch and Saurashtra have been asked to shut their operations completely, flights to these destinations from the Ahmedabad airport stand cancelled.
All activities in coastal areas have been suspended.