74,000 evacuated in Gujarat as Cyclone Biparjoy likely to make landfall on Thursday


Severe cyclonic storm ‘Biparjoy’, is likely to make landfall in Gujarat between 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, June 15 IST.

Around 74,000 people have been evacuated and relocated to shelter homes. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Railway Protection Force (RPF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Army units are on standby to provide assistance and support, said Amit Arora, the collector of Kutch, Gujarat.

Over 20,000 animals have been shifted to safer locations, adequate supply of rations at all shelter homes is ensured and 50 teams have been deployed for road clearance operations.

Evacuation of 74,000 people

As Cyclone Biparjoy draws nearer, the Gujarat coast is less than 200 kilometers away from its impact zone. Consequently, authorities have evacuated a total of 74,000 residents from vulnerable areas, specifically 120 villages situated within 10 kilometres of the seashore in Kutch district.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts that the cyclone will make landfall near Jakhau port as a very severe cyclonic storm, with wind speeds reaching up to 150 kilometres per hour.

The Navy has placed four ships equipped with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities on standby. Additionally, relief teams are stationed at Porbandar, Okha, and Valsura, ready to provide immediate assistance. Helicopters stationed at INS Hansa in Goa and INS Shikra in Mumbai are prepared to be deployed to Gujarat if necessary.

IMD Warning: Damage expected in these areas

Cyclone Biparjoy is likely to destroy thatched houses and cause extensive damage to kutcha houses, slight damage to pucca houses. Flying objects pose a potential threat, and power and communication poles may bend or uproot due to the severe cyclonic storm.

Major damage to roads, flooding of escape routes, disruption of railways, power lines, and signaling systems is anticipated. Standing crops, plantations, orchards, and coconut trees are at risk of damage, while bushy trees like mango may be blown down. Small boats and country crafts may become detached from their moorings, and visibility will be severely affected by salt spray.

“Biparjoy (pronounced as ‘”Biporjoy’) over Northeast Arabian Sea moved nearly northeastward during past six-hours and lay centred at 2:30 p.m. on June 14 over the same region near latitude 21.9 degree N and longitude 66.5 degree E, about 260 km southwest of Jakhau Port (Gujarat), 270 km west-southwest of Devbhumi Dwarka, 280 km west-southwest of Naliya, 330 km west of Porbandar, and 340 km south-southwest of Karachi (Pakistan),” said IMD in a statement.

“It would continue to move nearly northeast wards and cross Saurashtra & Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) near Jakhau Port (Gujarat) by evening of June 15 as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph,” it said.

The IMD further predicted that sea condition will be phenomenal over northeast Arabian Sea till June 15 evening and rough to very rough over adjoining east central Arabian Sea during the same period.

The IMD further predicted that the intensity of rainfall would increase with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over Porbandar, Rajkot, Morbi and Junagarh districts of Gujarat.

“Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely over remaining districts of Saurashtra and north Gujarat region on June 15 while light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over north Gujarat and adjoining south Rajasthan on June 16 and southeast Rajasthan and adjoining North Gujarat region on June 17,” said the IMD official.

Warning for fishermen

Fishermen are strongly advised to suspend all fishing operations in the northeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea. Those currently at sea are urged to return to the coast. Offshore and onshore activities should be regulated cautiously, and precautions should be taken at ports along the west coast of the country. Naval bases are also instructed to maintain necessary precautions.

Movement of motor boats and small ships in these areas should be avoided. Evacuation measures should be mobilised for coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch, while rail and road traffic should be regulated. People in affected areas are advised to remain indoors, and tourism activities may be restricted during this period.

The authorities are closely monitoring the situation and are prepared to respond promptly to any emergencies that may arise.

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