Cyclone Vayu to hit Gujarat today; flights suspended, 300,000 evacuated

As Cyclone Vayu advances towards the Gujarat coast and is expected to make landfall Thursday afternoon, the state government has shifted around three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions, officials said Wednesday.

According to the latest weather report, the cyclone has intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" and changed its course slightly. Now, it would hit the Gujarat coast anywhere between Veraval in the south and Dwarka in the west Thursday afternoon.

The cyclone is now located around 200 km south, south-west of Veraval and "is very likely to move nearly northwards and hit the Gujarat coast with wind speed of 155 to 165 kmph gusting to 180 kmph around afternoon of June 13," a release issued by the MeT department said.

"Gujarat has evacuated about 300,000 people and Diu has evacuated over 10,000 people from low-lying areas to safer places. Indian Coast Guard, Navy, Army & Air Force units have also been put on standby. Aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance," Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.

The Airports Authority of India announced that flight operations will remain suspended at five airports in Gujarat for 24 hours from midnight Wednesday to minimise the damage to airport infrastructure and to avoid inconvenience to passengers due to the cyclone.


LIVE UPDATES

31 trains cancelled or cut short

As many as 15 trains were cancelled and 16 cut short due to Cyclone Vayu, Western Railways said. Some trains that have been cancelled are the Veraval-Amreli Passenger, Amreli-Junagadh, Delvada-Veraval on June 12 and 13.

Western Railway trains cancelled

Western Railway will cut short or cancel some trains passing through places in Gujarat likely to be affected by cyclone 'Vayu'. All trains to Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham stations will be cut short or cancelled from 6 pm Wednesday till Friday morning.

Gujarat airports suspend flights

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.

Ports brace for Vayu

Ports have suspended work and activated their disaster management drills. The state-owned Deendayal Upadhyay Port at Kandla has sent most of its employees on leave. Adani Group and Reliance Industries have activated their disaster management drills.

Army, Air Force ready for rescue work

Ten Army columns--each of a strength of about 70 people -- have been deployed in Jamnagar, Gir, Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Somnath, Morbi, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Amreli. The Air Force has medium lift and light utility helicopters ready for operations.

Armed forces deployed

The Indian Army, the Air Force, and the disaster response teams are on standby for rescue and relief operations along Gujarat's coastal districts. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has also deployed ships and aircraft to enable search and rescue post the landfall of the cyclonic storm.

NDRF team alerts citizens near Jafrabad Port as cyclone Vayu inches closer to Gujarat coast

Watch: High tides and strong winds at the Chowpatty beach in Porbandar

More than 500 villages in coastal region have been evacuated: Gujarat official

Cyclone Vayu likely to remain strong even after landfall

An alert has been sounded in 10 districts of Gujarat as Cyclone Vayu has turned "very severe" and its impact is expected to remain strong for 24 hours even after its landfall Thursday, officials said.
 
As many as 52 teams of the National Disaster Management Relief Force (NDRF), comprising around 45 rescuers each, have been moved to the state, while 10 columns of the Indian Army have been kept on stand-by. Read more

Over 160,000 people evacuated as Cyclone Vayu inches closer

As cyclone 'Vayu' inches closer to the Gujarat coast and expected to make a landfall Thursday, authorities have so far shifted over 160,000 people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions.
 
Operations at ports and airports in these regions have been suspended as precautionary measure, officials said. Read more

Railways cancels 15 trains, short terminates 16 others

The railways has cancelled 15 trains and it will short terminate 16 others due to Cyclone Vayu, Western Railways said Wednesday.
 
The IMD said Tuesday Vayu has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and it is nearing the Gujarat coast.

Heavy rainfall predicted in next 48 hours in Gujarat

Railways cancels trains to coastal Gujarat

The Western Railway has decided to short-terminate or cancel some of its trains passing through areas of Gujarat that are likely to be affected by cyclone 'Vayu'.
 
All WR passenger and mail trains to Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham stations in Gujarat will be short-terminated or cancelled from 6 pm on Wednesday till Friday morning, the WR said in a bulletin.

Cyclone Vayu: 65 evacuated from Diu, Gujarat

65 people were evacuated and shifted to shelters from Diu and Gujarat by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) with the help of civil police and civil administration on Wednesday in the wake of Cyclone Vayu.
 
Western Railways has also taken various safety and security precautions for train passengers in cyclone-prone areas of Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham.

Cyclone Vayu: Odisha offers help to Gujarat

Odisha government is helping Gujarat to prepare to tackle cyclone Vayu.
 
The Gujarat government is in constant touch with Odisha in view of the eastern state's successful handing of similar calamities like cyclone 'Fani' in May this year and cyclone 'Titli' last year, officials said.

Cyclone Vayu: ONGC puts western offshore installations on high alert

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has put its installations in the western offshore on high alert and restricted helicopter sorties as a cyclone gathers intensity over the Arabian Sea.
 
ONGC produces bulk of India's oil and gas from fields off the west coast, with several of its installations on these housing its operational personnel. Read more

Praying for the safety and well-being of all those affected by Cyclone Vayu: PM Modi

Centre closely monitoring situation due to Cyclone Vayu: PM Modi

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel