Over three lakh evacuated as Cyclone Vayu inches closer

Updated: Jun 15, 2019, 10:28 IST | mid-day online desk

NDRF deployed; Army, Navy on standby for expected landfall on Thursday

Over three lakh evacuated as Cyclone Vayu inches closer
People watch as a huge wave crashes near boats on the Arabian Sea coast in Veraval. Pic/AP

Ahmedabad: As Gujarat and Diu brace to face "very severe" cyclone Vayu, Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said authorities have evacuated about 3.1 lakh people living in the low-lying areas and the NDRF has pre-positioned 52 teams for rescue and relief operations. The Indian Coast Guard, Navy, Army and the Air Force units have also been put on standby while aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance.

Amit Shah tweeted, "Gujarat has evacuated about 3 lakh people and Diu has evacuated over 10,000 people from low-lying areas to safer places...(the) MHA is in continuous touch with state govts/UT and central agencies. The NDRF has pre-positioned 52 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc."

As many as 52 teams of the National Disaster Management Relief Force (NDRF), comprising around 45 rescuers each, have been moved to the state, while 10 columns of the Indian Army have been kept on standby. Warships and aircraft of the Indian Navy have been kept on standby as well.

A general alert has been sounded across 10 district in Gujarat as wind speeds are likely to touch 170 km per hour, a Home Ministry official said.

Cyclone Vayu has turned into a "very severe" cyclone and it is expected that its impact will continue to be strong for 24 hours even after its landfall, the official said. Over 3 lakh people from vulnerable areas in Gujarat and Diu are being shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters.

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