“Very Severe” Cyclone Vayu to hit today; 2.5L Evacuated
Vayu is the deadliest storm that could hit Gujarat since 1998, when a cyclone had ravaged the port town of Kandla, killing 1,241 people.
Ahmedabad/Rajkot: Gujarat mounted a big rescue effort, shifting nearly 2.5 lakh people in 500 coastal villages to safer locations, as the “very severe” cyclonic storm, Vayu, headed for landfall over Saurashtra coast on Thursday afternoon. Vayu is the deadliest storm to hit the state since 1998, when a cyclone had ravaged the port town of Kandla, killing 1,241people. The cyclone is expected to pack wind speeds of 155-165kmph, gusting up to 180 kmph, and is moving at a speed of 16 kmph. It is projected to hit the coast between Dwarka and Porbandar, west of Veraval, by 3pm. “After making landfall, it will move parallel to the Saurashtra-Kutch coast and affect Amreli, Gir Somnath, Diu, Junagadh, Porbandar, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Kutch and Dwarka,” Jayanta Sarkar, director, IMD-Gujarat, told TOI.
Five people died of lightning strikes in Dang, Tapi and Narmada districts late on Tuesday evening. The cyclone could potentially cause damage in districts of Amreli, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Junagadh, Gir-Somnath, Jamnagar and Kutch. Vayu will barrel through the state for four days and remain a severe cyclonic storm on June 15 when it moves northwards. State and central agencies raced against time to shift villagers to safety and step up efforts to minimise damage to life and property. Around 10,000 tourists and pilgrims in Dwarka, Porbandar and Somnath were also shifted out in specially arranged buses. AAI will suspend operations at five airports Porbandar, Diu, Bhavnagar, Keshod and Kandla for 24 hours from Wednesday-Thursday midnight. It has also asked IAF to suspend civil flights from Bhuj and Jamnagar defence airports. It is reviewing if flight operations can continue at Surat airport.
26 injured in Missile Attack on Saudi Airport
Riyadh: A Yemeni rebel missile attack on an airport in Saudi Arabia wounded 26 civilians on Wednesday, drawing promises of “stern action” from the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels. An Indian woman was among the injured. Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have faced persistent coalition bombing since March 2015 that has exacted a heavy civilian death toll, have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks. The missile strike hit the civil airport in the mountain resort of Abha, which is a popular summer getaway for Saudis. The missile caused some damage to the airport’s arrival lounge and flights were disrupted for several hours.