In Gujarat, the state government has shifted around three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions, officials said.
According to the latest weather report, the cyclone has intensified into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and changed its course slightly. Now, it would hit the Gujarat coast anywhere between Veraval in the south and Dwarka in the west this afternoon.
The state government said the cyclone is likely to affect Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised people in his home state to follow real-time information being given by local agencies to stay safe. Praying for the safety and well-being of all those affected by Cyclone Vayu. The government and local agencies are providing real-time information, which I urge those in affected areas to closely follow, Mr Modi tweeted.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also appealed to people to cooperate in the evacuation process so that there is no loss of life.
The Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Border Security Force have been put on the watch.
Ports have been asked to hoist storm warning signal number 8 and 9 to convey “great danger”.
Based on the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) advice, Great Danger 8 (GD-8) signal has been hoisted at Porbandar and Okha ports, while GD-9 signal has been hoisted at Diu, Veraval, Navlakhi, New-Kandla, Sikka, Mundra, Madvi and Jakhau ports.
In a release, the Western Railway said it has cancelled trains going towards Kutch and Saurashtra region for two days.
To help authorities in relief and rescue work, the railways have kept special trains ready for deployment in those areas after the cyclone makes landfall.
“Special trains with six to 10 coaches each will be formed, to be kept in ready condition at the nearest safe location to be moved in emergency conditions,” the release said.
Since all the airports in Kutch and Saurashtra region have been asked to shut their operations completely, flights to these destinations from Ahmedabad Airport stand cancelled for today.