Heatwave expected in Karachi as Cyclone Vayu moves towards India

Cyclone Vayu is strengthening in the Arabian Sea and heading towards western India

Cyclone Vayu is strengthening in the Arabian Sea and heading towards western India

"Vayu" could intensify into a severe cyclone by Wednesday morning, move almost northwards and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva, around Veraval and Diu region, by early Thursday morning.

The state government of Gujarat deployed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue teams to minimise the damage, if any.

Home Minister Amit Shah today reviewed the preparations for cyclone Vayu which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat, and directed officials to ensure all possible steps for the safety of people, officials said, as per a PTI report.

"We have alerted all district collectors of coastal Gujarat to take immediate steps keeping in mind the likelihood of a cyclone", Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue, Pankaj Kumar told reporters.

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Residents of some of the Gujarat districts have been asked to move out to safer places or cyclone shelter centres. However, the warning means that fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea till the storm subsides. Shah also said 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.

Damage is being expected in the coastal areas of Gujarat such as Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar.

The IMD has put Gujarat on alert with likely Cyclone Vayu closing in on the Arabian Sea coast bringing heavy rains and winds sweeping across parts of the state at speed ranging from 75 km per hour to a maximum of 135 km.

Due to this situation, CM Rupani has also cancelled the 3-day Shala Praveshotsav (Welcoming to the school festival), which was scheduled to be held from 13 to 15 June 2019 across Gujarat.

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The Western Railway cancelled 70 trains and short-terminated 28 others due to Cyclone Vayu. So far, more than 74,000 people have been relocated from the affected coastal areas.

The Airports Authority of India suspended flight operations at its airports in Porbandar, Diu, Bhavnagar, Keshod and Kandla for 24 hours from Wednesday midnight.

Officials said as many as 47 National Disaster Response Force and others had arrived in Gujarat. The IAS officer also said over 10,400 tourists were shifted from the state.

Sikka Ports and Terminals Ltd, which handles crude oil and refined products for Reliance Industries Ltd, halted vessel berthing at a western port on Wednesday over a cyclone warning, according to a port notice. It now lays centered 760 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 930 km south-southwest of Veraval in Gujarat.

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