Cyclone Vayu, which makes landfall at Gujarat coast near Veraval early on Thursday morning, has put the entire state machinery on high alert.
According to various news reports, Almost 300,000 people are set to be evacuated in Gujarat out of the path of the severe cyclonic storm due in two days, authorities said.
After an emergency meeting, state chief secretary JN Singh said: “We have identified 2.91 lakh people living in low-lying areas of 10 coastal districts who will be evacuated by Wednesday afternoon.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a high-level meeting and directed officials concerned to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated.
The home ministry is in touch with authorities including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Daman and Diu, which may be vulnerable.
IMD officials said the cyclone is likely to dump rain in Kutch, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said people living in the coastal belt would be shifted to safer places.
The officials concerned are in touch with the Odisha government to implement disaster management techniques adopted when cyclone Fani hit the eastern coastal state recently, he said.
“June 13 and 14 are crucial for us. We have roped in the Army, NDRF, Coast Guard and other agencies for rescue and relief work. To minimise human casualty, we will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations,” he said. “All schools and colleges in the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch would remain closed on June 12 and June 13 as a precautionary measure,” said JN Singh.
He added that 67 shelter homes have been set up to accommodate those displaced.
As cyclone Vayu was intensifying in the Arabian Sea, some Chinese boats Tuesday sought shelter from authorities off Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, a Coast Guard official said.
As per IMD communication Tuesday, the speed of “Vayu” has increased to 17 km per hour in the last six hours of Tuesday evening.
Indian Railways is bracing to tackle the impact of cyclone Vayu that will hit coastal Gujarat on Thursday morning. On high alert for cyclone Vayu, the Western Railways has cancelled several trains to ensure the safety of passengers. The details of the trains which are being cancelled, diverted or terminated will be issued by the Western Railways.
The Railways is also arranging for special trains with six to ten coaches which will be kept ready at the nearest safe location for deployment in any emergency situation. The Railways is also ensuring that there is better coordination with state authorities so that passengers do not face inconvenience.