The very severe cyclonic storm Vayu over the Arabian Sea is very likely to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva early Thursday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.
It will have wind speeds of 140-150 km, gusting to 165 kmph, a bulletin issued at 0330 today by IMD said.
The administration in Gujarat and the Union Territory of Diu have drawn up plans to evacuate some three lakh people from low-lying and vulnerable areas in the districts likely to be hit by the cyclone.
The IMD bulletin said the cyclone had moved further northwards with a speed of about 18 kmph in the previous six hours, intensified into Very Severe Cyclonic Storm and lay centred at 2330 hrs IST of June 11 near latitude 17.1°N and longitude 70.6°E over eastcentral Arabian Sea, about 420 km west-northwest of Goa, 320 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 420 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat).
"It is very likely to move nearly northwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval & Diu region as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph around morning of 13th June 2019," the bulletin said.
According to it, wind speed is very likely to become gale wind speed reaching 120-130 kmph, gusting to 145 kmphm over eastcentral and adjoining northeast Arabian Sea today.
It is very likely to be 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmphm over Gujarat coast from today morning and become gale wind speed reaching 140-150 kmph, gusting to 165 kmph, by midnight tonight.
It is very likely to be 50-60 kmph, gusting to 70 kmph, over the Maharashtra coast.
The bulletin said gale wind speed of the order of 125-135 kmph, gusting to 145 kmph, was very likely over north Arabian Sea and the Gujarat coast in the morning hours tomorrow and decrease gradually thereafter. It is very likely to be 50-60 kmph, gusting to 70 kmph, over north Maharashtra coast and northern parts of eastcentral Arabian Sea.
According to it, the sea condition is very likely to become very high to phenomenal over eastcentral and adjoining northeast Arabian Sea and the Gujarat coast from today and over north Arabian Sea tomorrow.
The sea condition is very likely to be very rough to high along and off Maharashtra coast today and tomorrow.
Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea in the region.
The bulletin said storm surge of height of about 1.5-2.0 m above the astronomical tides was likely to inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi, Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagadh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts at the time of landfall.
It said there could be total destruction of thatched houses, extensive damage to "kutcha" houses and some damage to "pucca" houses in the above districts. There could be major damage to roads and flooding of escape routes. There could also be minor disruption of railways, overhead power lines and signalling systems as well as widespread damage to standing crops, plantation, orchards, falling of green coconuts and tearing of palm fronds.
Apart from total suspension of fishing operations and regulation of road and rail traffic, the bulletin called for evacuation of people from low-lying areas in the above districts, coastal hutment dwellers, urban slum dwellers and people staying in unsafe houses to safer places.
People in the affected areas have been advised to remain indoors.
Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued detailed advisories to Gujarat and the Union Territory of Diu, asking them to take all precautionary measures to ensure that there is no loss of human lives and damage to vital infrastructure is minimised.
This followed a high-level review meeting held here on Tuesday by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The advisory also urged them to ensure early recovery of all essential services post-cyclone landfall. State/UT Governments have also been advised for timely evacuation of people from low-lying coastal and vulnerable areas.
Gujarat and Diu Administration have planned to evacuate about 3 lakh people from the identified vulnerable areas starting this morning.
The evacuated people will be shifted to around 700 cyclone relief shelters. In consultation with State Administration, 39 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are being pre-positioned in Gujarat and Diu to help the local administration in evacuation, search, rescue and relief operations. In addition, 34 teams of Army personnel have also been on stand-by.
Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force units have also been put on stand-by and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance, an official press release said.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met in New Delhi on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha and reviewed preparedness relating to the cyclone.
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