Maharashtra shuts down all beaches in Konkan region due to Cyclone Vayu

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As Cyclone Vayu advances towards the Gujarat coast and is expected to make landfall Thursday afternoon, the state government has shifted around three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities have evacuated almost 300,000 people from India's western coastline ahead of a very severe cyclone that's expected to make landfall as the year's second major storm. The area hasn't been threatened by a cyclone of this strength since one made landfall in 1999.

He also recommended help from the state transport services which will provide tourists to move to safer places before the cyclone is expected.

"Thirty six teams have been pre-positioned/deployed at Kutch, Morbi, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Dwarka, Porbandar, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Junagarh, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Valsad, Surat and Gandhinagar, while four teams have been pre-positioned at Diu for prompt response", the NDRF said.

"We have started evacuation in coastal districts today morning", a Gujarat disaster management official said on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who had a review meeting with the state administration at the State Emergency Operations Centre, told reporters that the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had upgraded the possible wind velocity from up to 120 km per hour till Tuesday evening to 155 to 165 km per hour and gusting at 175 km per hour.

The weather experts ruled out any repeat of the conditions of June 2015 when a similar low-pressure area had resulted into killing hundreds of people in Karachi and other parts of Sindh.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has advised people to closely follow real-time information being disseminated by the authorities.

"Praying for the safety and well-being of all those affected by Cyclone Vayu", he wrote on June 12.

Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea.

The Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Border Security Force have been put on high alert.

In anticipation of the cyclone, 70 trains had been cancelled and schools and colleges along the coastline had been closed. A total of 110 trains of Western Railway are affected.

The IAF has also positioned the medium lift and light utility helicopters at nodal points in the State to undertake the disaster relief operations.