Hundreds of thousands evacuated as India braces for cyclone Vayu

NEW DELHI – Indian Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday to review the preparation to deal with cyclone Vayu, which is likely to hit the country’s western coastal areas on Thursday.

At the meeting, Gauba reviewed arrangements for making available essential food, drinking water and medicines in relief camps and to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, among others.

During the meeting, officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the cyclone is expected to cross the coast of western state of Gujarat between Porbandar and Diu as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of 145-155 km per hour to 170 km per hour in the forenoon of June 13.

“It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of western state Gujarat and storm surge of height of about 1.5-2.0 m above the astronomical tides likely to inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts at the time of landfall. IMD has been issuing regular bulletins to all the concerned states,” said an official statement by Ministry of Home Affairs.

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According to latest reports, more than 120,000 people had been evacuated from low lying areas to safer places in Gujarat state, and around 180,000 more are to be evacuated. The evacuated people are being kept at around 700 relief camps put up in safer places.

The administration of union territory Diu has also evacuated 8,000 people.

Units of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), the Indian Navy, Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have also been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance, said the statement.

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