Ahmedabad, June 13
As cyclone 'Biparjoy' with an extensive damaging potential is likely to make landfall near Jakhau port in Gujarat's Kutch district on Thursday evening, the administration has so far shifted 21,000 people from different coastal districts to temporary shelters, an official said on Tuesday.
The government is aiming to evacuate people within 10 km of the coast.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone is predicted to make landfall near Jakhau port as a 'very severe cyclonic storm' with maximum wind speed reaching up to 150 kilometres per hour (kmph).
The cyclone is likely to impact the Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts of Gujarat the most.
"We have already started evacuating people residing near the coast who are likely to be affected the most during the landfall. So far, various district administrations have shifted nearly 21,000 people to temporary shelters. The evacuation process is still on and all the targeted population will be shifted by Tuesday evening to safer places," said State Commissioner of Relief Alok Kumar Pandey.
Among the 21,000 people, nearly 6,500 were evacuated in Kutch district alone, followed by 5,000 in Devbhumi Dwarka, 4,000 in Rajkot, 2,000 in Morbi, more than 1,500 in Jamnagar, 550 in Porbandar and 500 in Junagadh district, he told reporters in Gandhinagar.
He said one person had died in an incident linked to the cyclone.
On Monday, one Varsha Bavaliya was killed and her husband was injured after a tree fell on their motorcycle on a state highway in Jasdan taluka of Rajkot district due to strong winds, he added.
"VSCS (very severe cyclonic storm) Biparjoy lay centred at 0230 IST of the 13th June, 2023 over Northeast and adjoining Eastcentral Arabian Sea about 290 km southwest of Porbandar & 360 km south-southwest of Jakhau Port. To cross Saurashtra & Kutch near Jakhau Port by the evening of 15th June as a VSCS,” the IMD has said.
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) evacuated 50 personnel from an oil rig located 40 km off the Dwarka coast in an overnight operation amid inclement weather conditions due to the cyclone, the maritime agency said on Tuesday.
“India Coast Guard Region NorthWest evacuated 50 personnel from oil rig 'Key Singapore' 40 km seaward from Dwarka in seven sorties of overnight operations by ICG ALH aircraft and ship Shoor," the ICG said in a release.
It said the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and ship braved "very rough sea conditions" and inclement weather due to approaching Biparjoy.
Pandey said the government is constantly working to ensure that there is no loss of life due to the weather phenomenon.
He said the rescue operation is being carried out in two phases, with people residing 0 to 5 km from the seashore to be shifted first. Thereafter, people living within a distance of 5 to 10 km from the coast will be moved to safer places, with priority to be given to children, pregnant women and the elderly.
A total of 12 teams each of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in the districts that are likely to be affected by the cyclone and arrangements have been made for the accommodation, food and medicine of the evacuated people.
At a high-level meeting in New Delhi on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked senior officers to take every possible measure to ensure people living in vulnerable locations are safely evacuated by the state government, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
As evacuation started on Monday, Jakhau port wore a deserted look. Fishing boats were lined up on the shore to ensure that they do not suffer much damage, said officials.
Shipping activities at the country's largest public sector port in Kandla were shut following the cyclone warning and around 3,000 people, including workers there, have been shifted to safer places, district administration officials said.
The IMD has warned of heavy to very heavy rain at a few places with isolated extremely heavy rain in the districts of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar on June 15, when Biparjoy – which means disaster or calamity in Bengali – is expected to make the landfall.
It also said that a strong surface wind is likely to prevail under the influence of the cyclone from June 12-16.
The Met department has warned of wind speeds of up to 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph from the morning of June 15.
Sea conditions are likely to remain rough to very rough till the evening of Wednesday, and high to phenomenal thereafter till the noon of June 15 before improving, it said.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Chennai airport operations suspended from 9.40 am to 11 pm
Group of militants on their way to Myanmar ambushed by anoth...
Court of Inquiry ordered to ascertain the cause of accident
Punjab MP was suspended on August 11
The report was mentioned in business list at number 5 in the...