The India Meteorological Department early on Wednesday said that Vayu had increased in its intensity and has now turned into a 'Very Severe Cyclonic Storm'. The Met department also said that Vayu is expected to cross Gujarat coast near Veraval.
SCS ‘VAYU’ over Eastcentral Arabian Sea intensified into Very Severe Cyclonic Storm near latitude 17.1°N and longitude 70.6°E is about 420 km west-northwest of Goa, 320 km south-southwest of Mumbai.
It is likely to cross Gujarat coast between around Veraval . pic.twitter.com/xe8EmORHK6
— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) June 11, 2019
Cyclone Vayu is expected to make landfall on Thursday morning with wind speeds in triple digits and bringing heavy showers to coastal areas of Gujarat, Maharashtra and some parts of Karnataka and Kerala.
Ground preparations have already begun with people in low-lying areas in Gujarat being evacuated to safer locations. It is estimated that close to three lakh people will be taken out from areas considered dangerous and that 700 shelter homes have been prepared across the state. Schools have been declared shut till June 15 while 26 teams of National Disaster Response Force - each with 45 personnel - have been deployed for carrying out relief operations. 10 additional NDRF teams are also deployed upon Gujarat government's request.
It has been learnt that Gujarat is looking at Odisha and how the state had handled the situation before, during and after Cyclone Fani in April. Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh is expected to speak to his counterpart in Odisha.
On Tuesday, Home Minister Amit Shah held a high-level meeting to review the preparations in place in Gujarat. A detailed advisory was issued to Gujarat as well as the Union Territory of Diu which prioritises the need to minimise loss of life.
The state administration has also requested the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force to assist with rescue and relief operations, if and when required. 34 teams of the Indian Army have already been put on standby.
Cyclone Vayu has also led to a strong warning being issued to fishermen in the coastal areas of the country with IMD warning of rough to very rough seas - especially along Gujarat and Maharashtra coastline.