Update: Cyclone Vayu to recurve, likely to hit Gujarat's Kutch as cyclonic storm or deep depression, says official. As per the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Vayu is still very severe cyclonic storm and is moving westwards. It is likely to make a landfall at Kutch coast in the next 48 hours.
Gujarat breathed a sigh of relief as a change in the course of Cyclone Vayu reduced the impact of the very severe cyclone to just the coastal areas instead of the entire state as predicted earlier. The state was fully prepared to face the cyclone as evacuation procedures had begun much in advance and safety warnings had been issued throughout the state, especially in the coastal areas of Porbandar, Devbhoomi, Dwarka, Gir, Somnath, Diu, Junagarh.
The latest update on Cyclone Vayu, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), said that the very severe cyclonic storm Vayu lay centered at 8 30 AM of 14 June near latitude 21.00 degree north and Longitude. 68.30 degree east over northeast and adjoining east-central Arabian sea, about 270 km west-northwest of Diu(Gujarat) and 150 km nearly west-southwest of Porbandar (Gujarat). Moderate rainfall is likely to continue over the coastal regions for the next three hours.
The wind speed is likely to be 50-60 km per hour gusting to 70 km per hour over Porbandar and Devbhoomi Dwarka and 30-40 km per hour gusting to 50 km per hour over Gir, Somnath, Diu and Junagarh during next 3 hours. The very severe cyclonic storm Vayu is moving West-northwestwards, skirting the Saurashtra coast and is slowly moving away from the coast.
The sea condition is forecasted to be phenomenal over north Arabian sea and over northern parts of the east-central Arabian sea during next 12 hours. The sea condition is predicted to range from rough to high over rest part of the east-central part of Arabian sea. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the north Arabian Sea, along and off Gujarat coast and along and off Maharashtra coast. IMD has once again reiterated the total suspension of fishing operations until the sea returns to normal.
Moderate-to-heavy rains were recorded in 114 tehsils of Gujarat, mostly along the coast. The highest rainfall of 6.5 inches (160mm) was recorded in Talala tehsil of Gir-Somnath district since Thursday, said the Met department release.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had deployed 40 rescue and relief teams along the coastal areas of Gujarat and Diu in the wake of anticipated cyclonic storm Vayu for rescue and relief operations. The Western Railway had also included partial cancellation as a precautionary measure.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday said cyclonic storm Vayu no longer posed any threat to the state as it had moved away westward. Following a meeting with top officials in Gandhinagar, Rupani asked the authorities to let around 2.75 lakh people who had been evacuated to safety to return to their homes.
"Around 2.75 lakh people who were evacuated from the coastal areas are free to return to their homes. The state government will pay an allowance totaling around Rs 5.5 crore to the evacuees for daily expenses over the next three days", he announced.
"Schools and colleges will start as per their schedules tomorrow. We are also calling back senior officials and ministers who were deployed in ten coastal districts to supervise relief and rescue operations. Road transport buses have started plying in these areas today. The NDRF teams will remain stationed along the coastline for the next 48 hours," he said.