Gandhinagar: Even though the severe cyclonic storm VAYU has changed direction and might not hit the Gujarat coast yet the 'danger' is far from over,...
Gandhinagar: Even though the severe cyclonic storm VAYU has changed direction and might not hit the Gujarat coast yet the 'danger' is far from over, IMD center Director Jayant Sarkar said here on Thursday. The number 9 signals on several ports of Gujarat are still showing very high level of danger, Mr Sarkar said. Heavy to very heavy rain and wind speed would be very high even though the eye of the storm won't touch the Gujarat coast, he added. 'But the dangers associated with it were still very much there. It is far from over. The cyclone situated at 110 km south west of Vervala coast was now moving towards Oman coast. But it would pass from close quarters of our coast,' he said. 'It does not matter whether or not the cyclone hits the coast, the real concern during a cyclone is heavy rainfall and wind speed. For the next three days there is likelihood of heavy to very heavy rain and high speed wind. Today morning, the wind in Veraval gusted up to 70kmph which was quite high,' he added.
Notably, more than 3 lakh people from the coastal areas of Gujarat have been evacuated to safer places in the wake of the approaching cyclone. Despite forecast of VAYU not making a landfall on Gujarat coast, all precautions should be taken during next 8 to 9 hours as its outer periphery would touch or remain closer to the state, Coast Guard Operation Commander Navtej Singh today said. He said that the cyclone which was at a distance of around 100 km south west of Veraval coast was moving very slowly and it was necessary to take all the precautions in the coastal areas for the next 8 to 10 hours. 'We are keeping an eye and as it was moving very slowly, it will take another 8 to 9 hours to ensure whether it has gone away from Gujarat coast. Till then no one should venture out in coastal areas and all precautions should be taken,' he said. Looking at the current position and movement of the cyclone its outer periphery was likely to touch the coastal area, he added. Amid unconfirmed reports of a few deaths in coastal areas, including the reported one of a fisherman of Una in Gir Somnath district, the Gujarat government today categorically said that not even a single death has taken place in the state under the influence of approaching cyclone VAYU. Additional Chief Secretary of Revenue department, Pankaj Kumar said that not even a single death has been reported in Gujarat due to the influence of VAYU. He said that the difference between normal rain related casualty and that during the circumstances created in the wake of the cyclone should be understood. Mr Kumar said that still a close watch was being kept on the movement of the cyclone that has changed direction and was moving away from Gujarat.
'The administration was also alert in the coastal areas,' he said, adding that around 45 NDRF teams were still in those areas. To a query he said that a little over 3 lakh people have been shifted to safer places and for them more than ten lakh food packets have been prepared and if the need be more such packets would be prepared. Of the 2251 villages where electricity supply was disrupted in the wake of approaching cyclone VAYU, it has been restored in 1924 villages by 0600 hrs this morning. According to a statement released by the state government, of the 904 faulty electric feeders, 697 have also been made operational again. Of the 566 affected electric poles, 230 have been repaired.
The restoration of electricity in remaining villages was also being done. Among the affected villages, 258 were in Chhota Udepur district, 129 in Devbhoomi Dwarka, 189 in Gir Somnath, 105 in Jamnagar, 118 in Junagadh,240 in Mahesana, 317 in Patan, 135 in Sabarkantha and 263 were in Surat district. In the past 24 hours ending at 0830 hrs this morning, a total of 108 talukas in Gujarat have experienced rainfall with Patan in North Gujarat recording the highest of almost 2 inches (45mm). IMD center Director Jayant Sarkar said that there would be more spells of rain in next 3 days. 'The rain in Southern Gujarat and Saurashtra Kutch region could be attributed to the approaching cyclone VAYU, but the rain in Northern part of Gujarat won't be due to it. In fact the rain in Northern part of the state would be caused by the presence of western disturbances,' he added.