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Cyclone 'Vayu' intensifies into severe cyclonic storm

Cyclone Vayu likely to hit Gujarat on June 13 coastal cities brace for inundation crop damage

Cyclone "Vayu" is further likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next the 24 hours, the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said in a bulletin issued at 8 am Tuesday. It is likely to cross the Gujarat coast early morning on June 13, the IMD added.

Damage is being expected in the coastal areas of Gujarat such as Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar.

By midday they had begun evacuating more than a quarter of a million people living in towns and villages likely to bear the brunt of the storm. "The government's success would be in zero death", he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that they will be provided shelter in government buildings or those owned by various trusts and NGO. The IAS officer also said over 10,400 tourists were shifted from the state. Nine helicopters have been placed at strategic points.

"It would also bring heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the region".

A total of 36 NDRF teams have been deployed, and 11 other teams are on stand-by in Gujarat, Kumar said.

"In addition, six teams each are being airlifted from Patna airport and INS Rajali to Gujarat". Warships and aircraft of the Indian Navy have been kept on standby as well.

The officials said schools, colleges and Anganwadis in the coastal districts would remain shut on June 12 and 13.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated along parts of India's western coast as the region braces itself for a powerful cyclone.

"Gujarat chief secretary had called me up and discussed the measures to be taken ahead of the landfall".

"We have installed power generators at all the ports".

The state government of Gujarat deployed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue teams to minimise the damage, if any. "The NDRF has pre-positioned 52 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc".

The warm waters of the Arabian Sea, which are averaging 30 degrees Celsius, will continue to allow Vayu to gradually strengthen before making possible landfall at Gujarat coast of India.

Vayu is the second cyclone to hit India this year.

Winds are expected to change their course, which will cause the heatwave, the Met department said. "Considering the alertness for Cyclone Vayu over Gujarat, the Western Railway has made a decision to fully cancel operation of 70 mainline trains, while 28 other mainline trains will be short terminated with partial cancellation as a precautionary measure in the cyclone prone areas", it said in a statement.