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Cyclone Vayu to hit Gujarat today; flights suspended, 300,000 evacuated
Cyclone Vayu is expected to hit the Gujarat coast anywhere between Veraval in the south and Dwarka in the west of Gujarat Thursday afternoon
As Cyclone Vayu advances towards the Gujarat coast and is expected to make landfall Thursday afternoon, the state government has shifted around three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions, officials said Wednesday.
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 Thursday afternoon.
The cyclone is now located around 200 km south, south-west of Veraval and "is very likely to move nearly northwards and hit the Gujarat coast with wind speed of 155 to 165 kmph gusting to 180 kmph around afternoon of June 13," a release issued by the MeT department said.
"Gujarat has evacuated about 300,000 people and Diu has evacuated over 10,000 people from low-lying areas to safer places. Indian Coast Guard, Navy, Army & Air Force units have also been put on standby. Aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance," Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
The Airports Authority of India announced that flight operations will remain suspended at five airports in Gujarat for 24 hours from midnight Wednesday to minimise the damage to airport infrastructure and to avoid inconvenience to passengers due to the cyclone.