NATIONAL

2.5 lakh shifted ahead of Vayu landfall

Armed forces, NDRF brace for the cyclone; Union Home Secretary chairs meeting of crisis managers

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 40 teams along the coastal areas of Gujarat and the union territory of Diu ahead of the anticipated landfall on Thursday afternoon of the severe cyclonic storm Vayu.

Apart from the NDRF, the government has also deployed the SDRF and other agencies while Army, IAF and Navy have been put on standby for rescue and relief operations along the coastal districts in Saurashtra. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has also deployed ships and aircraft to enable search and rescue operations.

NCMC review

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) where preparation for relief and rescue operations were discussed.

More than 2.5 lakh people have been relocated from the affected coastal areas to safer locations in more than 2000 shelters.

“It is expected at present that the impact of cyclone will start being felt from the midnight on Wednesday. The intensity of the cyclone is seen increasing. As a precaution, the government is shifting the citizens so that we can achieve our aim of zero casualties. Food packets and medical aid is being provided,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said addressing the media on Wednesday.

After making the landfall, the cyclone is likely to move along and parallel to the Saurashtra and Kutch coast, the India Meteorological Department has said.

Ahead of the cyclone, the government has suspended flight operations in all airports in Saurashtra, cancelled or short terminated trains and also halted operations at the ports where signal 9 has been hoisted.

“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,” an NDRF release said.

“In addition, six teams each are being airlifted from Patna airport and INS Rajali to Gujarat. This will raise the number of teams to 52 — 47 in Gujarat and 5 in Diu for assisting the local administration” it added.

All pilgrim places including Somnath, Dwarka and schools and colleges have been closed.

A total of ten columns of the Army each having a strength of about 70 persons have been deployed in Jamnagar, Gir, Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Somnath, Morbi, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Amreli, while another 24 columns have been put on standby to carry out rescue and relief operations

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