Cyclone Vayu has changed its course and may not hit the Gujarat coast as predicted earlier, the MeT department said Thursday, even as the state government maintained that the situation is still "critical".
The state government has evacuated over three lakh people living in low-lying areas and thatched houses in the coastal districts, while airports have been shut and over 70 trains cancelled as a precautionary measure.
No casualties have been recorded due to Cyclone Vayu till now. The deaths (6 deaths in last 2 days) is not due the cyclone, rather it is due to monsoon, says Pankaj Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary of Revenue
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has sought a report over some cruise ships operating in the Mandovi river here located close to the Arabian Sea despite a warning of rough weather along the state coast due to cyclone Vayu, an official said.
The GTDC received complaints that some cruise vessels were operating close to the sea waters, the state-run entity's chairman, Dayanand Sopte, told reporters here on Wednesday.
The railways has cancelled 77 trains and short terminated 33 others due to Cyclone Vayu, the Western Railways said on Thursday.
The cancellations were made as a precaution even though the cyclone changed its course and is unlikely to make landfall in Gujarat. However, it will cause heavy rain in several coastal districts of the state.
The severity of Cyclone Vayu remains a threat for Gujarat's coastal areas even though it has changed course and is unlikely to make landfall in the state on Thursday, an IMD official said.
"The threat of surge in wind, dust storm and rainfall stays very much. The centre of the storm -- known as the eye -- has slightly moved away from the Gujarat coast, but its diameter is well over 900 km," the official said.
“Governments alertness for Cyclone Vayu continues with same intensity. Persons shifted to shelter homes to stay there. People should continue to stay in safe areas. Their preparedness to continue at same level . No movements in Coastal areas. We continue to be Alert,” the notice issued by Pankaj Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue Department states.
IMD Mumbai said that the extent of cyclone is over 900 km and that while the eye of cyclone may or may not hit Porbandar, the system will still hit. Accompanying risk factors such as wind, storm surge and rainfall are all still threats, it said, asking people not to relax in preparedness.
Six teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on alert in Porbandar.
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Vayu to skit along Saurashtra Coast this afternoon with a wind speed 135-160 kmph. Coastal districts Diu, Gir Somnath, Junagarh, Porbandar, Dwarka will be affected, says Manorama Mohanty, scientist at India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ahmedabad
Cyclone Vayu won't hit Gujarat. It will pass nearby from Veraval, Porbandar, Dwarka. Its effect will be seen on the coastal regions as there will be heavy wind speed and heavy rain as well, Manorama Mohanty, scientist at India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ahmedabad
The shed at the entrance of Somnath Temple in Gir Somnath district was damaged by the strong winds brought in by the effect of the approaching Cyclone Vayu.
Preparations have begun to deal with the impact of Cyclone Vayu. In the below photos, various groups in Rajkot are preparing food packets for the cyclone-affected areas, as per instructions from government officials.
"VSCS VAYU over EC Arabian Sea moved NNW-wards in last six hours. It is 130 km SW of Veraval and 180 km S. Porbandar. It is likely to move NNW-wards for some time and then NW-wards skirting Saurashtra coast with wind speed 135-145 kmph from afternoon 13.06.2019," the IMD tweeted.