In the view of Cyclone Vayu, which is likely to hit Gujarat with a wind speed of 110 to 120 kmph gusting to 135 km / hour on 13 June (tomorrow), Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani has requested all the tourists visiting the state to leave for a safer place by today evening. It will hit the coast as a very severe cyclone, and weaken only with landfall.
A powerful cyclone that threatened Gujarat has changed course and it is now expected to just brush past the coast, authorities said on Thursday, although ports and coastal airports remained shut.
Tropical cyclone Vayu - now classed as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds equivalent to those of a Category 1 hurricane, - is approximately 550 kilometres away from Karachi with gusts of up to 12 kilometres per hour reaching the coastal area of the city.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) which reviewed preparedness relating to cyclone Vayu.
The cyclone is expected to be closest to the Saurashtra Coast by June 12 and between June 12 and June 14, the western-most parts of Saurashtra and Kutch region in Gujarat could witness squally winds and heavy to very heavy rains, MeT officials said. Rescue teams of State Disaster Response Force, Army, Coast Guard and BSF are also on stand by.
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A red alert was issued in many districts of Gujarat.
Gujarat Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on Thursday endorsed the decision of the Shiva temple authorities to keep the shrine open despite the alert. The Odisha government, during Cyclone Fani, had created a record by evacuating above 15 lakh people to safe place ahead of the cyclone's landfall near Puri.
Precautionary measures have been taken by the Gujarat government and over three lakh people living in low-lying areas and thatched houses in the coastal districts have been evacuated, an official said. The evacuated people will be shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters. It will pass nearby from Veraval, Porbandar and Dwarka.
Schools and universities in Gujarat state and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu are closed until June 13, according to the BBC.