After sparing Gujarat, Cyclone Vayu may hit Kutch
The states on the Western coast, namely Gujarat, readied themselves to face Cyclone Vayu, which had turned into 'very severe cyclonic storm' earlier this week. However, the cyclone changed its path on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday and didn't make landfall. Just when authorities breathed a sigh of relief, a top official said Cyclone Vayu might recurve and hit Kutch. Here's more.
Context: 3L people were evacuated, NDRF teams deployed
As soon as authorities learned about the intensity and path of Cyclone Vayu, they got to work. Nearly 3 lakh people were evacuated and taken to shelter homes. Schools and colleges were ordered to remain shut. Further, teams of NDRF, Indian Army, and Coast Guard were deployed to aid in rescue and relief work. Train and flight services were also affected.
After cyclone changed course, CM Rupani allowed evacuees to return
Union Home Minister Amit Shah took stock of the situation and directed officials to stay on their toes. Fortunately, the cyclone caused minimum damage and only affected areas like Gir, Somnath, Diu, Junagarh, and Porbandar. Subsequently, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani declared "Gujarat was safe". "Around 2.75 lakh people, who were evacuated from the coastal areas, are free to return to their homes," he said.
Rupani's statement hinted the danger has been averted
"Schools and colleges will start tomorrow. We are also calling back senior officials and ministers, who were deployed in 10 coastal districts to supervise relief and rescue operations. Road transport buses have started plying in these areas today," Rupani told reporters on Friday.
Cyclone Vayu could recurve, but with a less intensity
But, perhaps, the authorities were too quick to celebrate. M Rajeevan, who is the Secretary at the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said Cyclone Vayu may recurve. Rajeevan underlined the intensity of the cyclone is likely to reduce. It might hit the Gujarat coast as a "cyclonic storm or a deep depression", he explained. The senior official said Gujarat government has been alerted.
Meanwhile, Ahmedabad's MeT said Cyclone Vayu could dissipate in sea
Speaking on the latest turn of events, Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre's Additional Director, Manorama Mohanty, said it was too early to predict whether Cyclone Vayu might recurve or not. "It is also possible it may weaken by then and dissipate in the sea itself. Thus, it is too early to predict that it will come back and hit the Kutch coast," she added.
Gujarat Chief Secretary said situation is being monitored
After the latest warning, Gujarat Chief Secretary JN Singh said authorities were keeping an eye. He revealed NDRF teams will remain stationed along the coastline. "Even if it comes back to Kutch or Saurashtra after 48 hours, the system may have weakened significantly. However, we are alert. If something happens on June 17 and 18, we're ready for that," he added.