Cyclone Vayu won’t hit Gujarat after changing trajectory overnight, the Met department has said. Gujarat continues to be in a state of high alert with 3 lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions being evacuated. It is expected to cross Gujarat coast between Dwarka and Veraval as a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a wind speed of 155-165 km per hour gusting to 180 km per hour today afternoon.
According to MeT Department Director RK Jenamani Vayu is expected to reach the coastal area of Porbandar and Kutch with a speed of 135-165 on Thursday morning. “This is similar to the cyclone Fani in Odisha and it is hard to predict its longevity.” He said that its effects will be seen on Thursday and Friday and heavy rain is expected in the affected areas of the state.
Meanwhile, Western Railway cancelled the operation of around 77 mainline trains, while 33 other mainline trains will be short terminated with partial cancellation as a precautionary measure in the cyclone-prone areas. A total of 110 trains of Western Railway are affected.
“Various safety and security precautions are also being taken by Western Railway for train passengers of these cyclone prone areas under the jurisdiction of Western Railways i.e. Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham, etc,” a press statement by the Western Railway said.
Flights will be suspended at five Gujarat airports – Porbandar, Diu, Bhavnagar, Keshod and Kandla–for 24 hours from midnight Wednesday due to Cyclone Vayu. “Equipment and heavy machinery have been moved to safety at respective airports and the Airport Directors of AAI’s Bhuj and Jamnagar airports have been asked to write to the Indian Air Force to suspend operations of civil flights from these two airports also,” said the Airports Authority of India.
Gujarat government on Wednesday evacuated over 2.7 lakh people from 10 coastal districts as “very severe cyclonic storm” Vayu inched closer to the state coast and is expected to make landfall between Dwarka and Veraval on Thursday afternoon.
Columns of Army, NDRF personnel, Air Force helicopters and 300 marine commandoes were deployed for rescue and relief operations, while flight operations from five airports in Porbandar, Diu, Bhavnagar, Keshod and Kandla were suspended.
Around 2.75 lakh people were shifted and more than 500 villages have been evacuated from the coastal regions in view of the Cyclone Vayu approaching the Gujarat Coast, the government said.