Weather: As Biparjoy Nears, Gujarat Shifts 21,000 People To Safer Places

Weather: As Biparjoy Nears, Gujarat Shifts 21,000 People To Safer Places

As many as 21,000 people from seven different coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch have been shifted to temporary shelters, officials said, adding that the government has prioritized those living within 10 km of the coast for evacuation.

Darshan DesaiUpdated: Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 12:06 AM IST
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With 48 hours left for cyclone Biparjoy to make a landfall near Jakhau port in Gujarat’s Kutch district on the evening of June 15, the State administration backed by the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Army have launched evacuation operations.

 Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, in a video message, on Tuesday evening appealed to the people to cooperate with the State Government in handling the crisis and asserted that, “We are working with a zero-casualty approach.”   

As many as 21,000 people from seven different coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch have been shifted to temporary shelters, officials said, adding that the government has prioritized those living within 10 km of the coast for evacuation.  

Significantly, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a slight reduction in the intensity of the cyclone, stating that a “very severe cyclonic storm” is likely to make a landfall in Gujarat as against “extremely severe cyclonic storm” until Monday night.

 The IMD bulletin stated, “Very severe cyclonic storm (VSCS) Biparjoy lay centred at 0230 IST of the 13th June 2023 over Northeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea about 290 km southwest of Porbandar & 360 km south-southwest of Jakhau Port. To cross Saurashtra & Kutch near Jakhau Port by the evening of 15th June as a VSCS."

Similarly, the wind speed has now been forecast up to 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph from the morning of June 15, from 125-135 with gusts of 150 km earlier.

 Out of the seven districts, the cyclone is likely to impact the Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts of Gujarat the most. "We have already started evacuating people residing near the coast who are likely to be affected the most during the landfall. So far, various district administrations have shifted nearly 21,000 people to temporary shelters,” State Commissioner of Relief, Alok Kumar Pandey, said.

Evacuation in progress

He added that the evacuation process is still on and all the targeted population will be shifted by Tuesday night to safer places. Alok Pandey told mediapersons in Gandhinagar that among the 21,000 people, nearly 6,500 were evacuated in the Kutch, followed by 5,000 in Devbhumi Dwarka, 4,000 in Rajkot, 2,000 in Morbi, over 1,500 in Jamnagar, 550 in Porbandar and 500 in Junagadh district.

He said one person died in an incident linked to the cyclone. On Monday, one woman was killed and her husband was injured after a tree fell on their motorcycle on a state highway in Jasdan taluka of Rajkot district due to strong winds.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) evacuated 50 personnel from an oil rig located 40 km off the Dwarka coast in an overnight operation amid inclement weather conditions due to the cyclone, the maritime agency said in a press release on Tuesday.

Indian Coast Guard evacuated 50 personnel from Key Singapore

India Coast Guard Region NorthWest evacuated 50 personnel from oil rig 'Key Singapore' 40 km seaward from Dwarka in seven sorties of overnight ops by ICG ALH aircraft and ship Shoor, according to the statement. It said the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and ship braved "very rough sea conditions" and inclement weather due to approaching Biparjoy.

As many as 12 teams each of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in the districts that are likely to be affected by the cyclone and arrangements have been made for the accommodation, food and medicine of the evacuated people.

 The IMD has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy rainfall in the districts of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar on June 15, when Biparjoy - which means disaster or calamity in the Bengali language - is expected to make the landfall.

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