Cyclone Vayu to change course and hit Gujarat coast

New Delhi: Cyclone Vayu will change its path again and is likely to hit Kutch on June 17-18, a top official of the Ministry of Earth Sciences said on Friday.

Severe cyclonic storm Vayu was to hit the Gujarat coast on Thursday, but it changed course on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday. It skirted the Gujarat coast, affecting Gir, Somnath, Diu, Junagarh and Porbandar.

“Vayu is likely to recurve on June 16 and hit Kutch on June 17-18,” M Rajeevan, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, told PTI.

The very severe cyclonic storm will also reduce in intensity and turn into a severe cyclonic storm by Saturday morning, a senior India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

“The system is moving nearly westwards affecting Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka districts with wind speed 50-60 kilometres per hour gusting to 70 kilometres per hour and Gir Somnath and Junagarh districts with wind speed 30-40 kilometres per hour gusting to 50 kilometres per hour. The wind speed over these districts is very likely to decrease gradually,” the Cyclone Warning Division said in a 5.30 pm bulletin.

“The system is very likely to move nearly westwards during next 48 hours and recurve northeastwards thereafter,” it added.

But there is also a possibility that Vayu might weaken and dissipate in the sea itself, said Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary M Rajeevan to PTI.

The cyclone, while not making landfall in Gujarat, brought moderate-to-heavy rains to 114 tehsils, the highest rainfall of 6.5 inches (160mm) being recorded in Talala tehsil of Gir-Somnath district since Thursday, a Met department release said.

As a precautionary measure, however, the state government has evacuated over two lakh people living along the coast.

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