Daily rituals remain unhindered at Somnath Temple amid cyclone alert in Gujarat


The meteorological department briefed the Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani, saying that there were chances of a cyclone hitting parts of the coastal belt in Sindh province.

Under the influence of Cyclone Vayu, widespread dust or thunder-showers with isolated heavy falls are expected in southeast Thatta, Badin and Tharparker districts of Sindh. It will skirt through coast of Veraval, Porbandar and Dwarka.

Although the brunt of the cyclone will not hit Gujarat, heavy rains and strong winds have lashed sections of the state's coast. According to the IMD, it moved north-northwestwards in the last six hours and is now 130 km southwest of Veraval in Gujarat and 180 km south of Porbandar.

Though not as severe as Fani and unlikely to make landfall, Indian authorities cautioned that Vayu could leave risky conditions in its wake.

Weather officials said Cyclone Vayu, with wind speeds equivalent to those of a Category 1 hurricane, is set to cross the coast with sustained wind speeds of 145 kph to 155 kph (90 miles per hour to 96 mph), and could gust as high as 170 kph (106 mph).

It said a heat wave was likely to hit Karachi on Thursday and Friday because the cyclone could stifle sea breezes, with temperatures rising to 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit). 'It is nature. But I have repeatedly said that we have enough water for drinking purposes in Gujarat till July 31.

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Damage potential winds with the speed of 135 kmph-145 kmph gusting up to 160 kmph likely by the afternoon of June 13. The food packets will be dispatched to the cyclone-affected areas of the state, as per the instructions by the government officials.

Normally a cyclone becomes weak after its landfall.

"No damage to any airport infrastructure or facilities has been reported so far". The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) chalked out an action plan well in advance in view of the cyclone threat, the state government-promoted company's in-charge managing director Shahmeena Husain told news agency PTI. Medical teams and facilities at Indian Naval hospital in Mumbai are on standby to handle medical emergencies.

The administration of the districts along the Gujarat coast affected by "Vayu" took special measures to identify and shift pregnant women to safer places, said Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Pankaj Kumar.

Gujarat has, meanwhile, already evacuated over 3.1 lakh people and the Union Territory of Diu that touches the Saurashtra coast has moved over 10,000 people to safety.