Areas along the coastal belt of Maharashtra and Gujarat are bracing themselves to face the 'very severe cyclonic storm' Vayu which is forecast to make landfall on Thursday morning.
The 'Very Severe Cyclonic Storm' VAYU is currently looming over the East-central Arabian Sea, and has moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 13 km per hour over six hours in the early hours of Wednesday morning and lay centred about 470 km west-northwest of Goa, 280 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 340 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat) as on 5:30 AM on 12 June.
It is likely to move nearly northwards and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval & Diu region as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed 145-155 km per hour gusting to 170 km per hour, making landfall around the morning of 13 June.
Wind speeds near the going-to-be affected areas are predicted to reach 170 km per in the next two days and are expected to normalize after 15 June. A storm surge of height 1.5-2.0 m above the astronomical tides is expected in coastal Gujarat including Kutch, Devbhoomi, Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts at the time of landfall.
People living in the low-lying areas have been asked to relocate themselves to a higher ground whereas the fishermen were warned to not venture into the seas for the next two days. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) also advised people to stay indoors before and during the storm as a precautionary move.
The Chief Minister of Gujarat sent out advisory asking tourists to remain indoors and be safe. Here's his message:
The state has made preparations ahead of the Cyclone making landfall:
All schools and government colleges will remain closed from June 13-14, and exams have been postponed. 36 teams of NDRF have been deployed across Saurashtra and Kutch, with the Home Ministry also reviewing preparedness. The Indian Air Force has kept its choppers on standby for any evacuation requirements, while proactive movement of almost 3 lakh civilians is underway to shift them from temporary dwellings to permanent structures.
The Gujarat government is also in touch with the Odisha administration which had successfully tackled the more powerful Cyclone Fani recently.