Gujarat put on alert for Cyclone Vayu

Gujarat put on alert for Cyclone Vayu

KARACHI: Tropical Cyclone Vayu located some 1000 kilometers south of Karachi in the east Arabian Sea on Tuesday evening is likely to intensify into a "severe cyclonic storm" by Wednesday morning and under its influence, a moderate heat wave is expected to grip Karachi from Wednesday to Friday evening, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said on Tuesday. It was centred over the Eastcentral Arabian Sea, about 460 km north-northwest of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep), 540 km southsouthwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 690 km almost south of Veraval (Gujarat) during the early morning hours.

The IMD has issued a warning of heavy rains and high winds at a speed of over 110 kilometres per hour on 13 and 14 June and in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch.

It also warned the cyclone could further delay the progress of the annual monsoon rains over the rest of India, as the storm was drawing rain clouds from over the sea. It has advised fishermen against venturing into the sea in the next few days, while ports have been directed to flag a danger signal.

Chief Secretary J.N. Singh said as of now there was no need for immediate evacuation from coastal districts in a hurry but "if the cyclone somehow changes direction or intensifies in the next 24 hours, a decision would be taken accordingly". The government is also likely to keep the Army, the Navy and the Coast Guard on standby, as per PTI reports.

It deployed National Disaster Response Force personnel in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch on Tuesday morning. Chief Secretary of Gujarat and advisor to administrator Daman and Diu apprised the NCMC of preparatory measures put in place for dealing with cyclonic storm. If needed, we will also take the help of the Air Force. "To minimise human casualty, we will start shifting people living in coastal areas to safer locations from tomorrow", he said.

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On Monday, the depression over south-east adjoining Lakshadweep and east-central Arabian Sea, moved northwards with a speed of about 31 kmph.

It is likely to damage thatched houses, blow away rooftops and metal sheets, disrupt power and communication lines and cause major damage to roads and crops, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

"June 13 and 14 are crucial for us". The storm is expected to peak on June 13 when the wind speed could reach 135 kilometres per hour (kmph).

An advancement of the storm is likely to stall monsoon further in northern parts of India. Only the headline has been changed.

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