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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Cyclone Biparjoy set to hit Kutch; Gujarat begins preparations

With the ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ Biparjoy expected to make landfall on Gujarat’s Kutch coast on Thursday, the State government has started preparations by deploying teams from both national and State disaster response forces in coastal areas and will set up shelters in six coastal districts in the Saurashtra and Kutch regions.

There is yet no clarity about the exact location of its landing, but the India Meteorological Department said that Biparjoy is very likely to make landfall at some point between Mandvi in Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan around noon on June 15, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 125 to 135 kmph, gusting to 150 kmph.

Explained | How does a cyclone affect the monsoon’s onset?

Taking precautions

On Sunday, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel held a review meeting with district officials. He directed the administration to deploy the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams, and take other precautionary measures in the Kutch, Jamnagar, Morbi, Gir Somnath, Porbandar, and Devbhumi Dwarka districts, which are likely to be impacted by the cyclone. Between June 13 and June 15, they are likely to face heavy rainfall and very high wind speeds that may go up to 150 kmph. 

Representatives of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Indian Army were also present during the Chief Minister’s meeting. The Coast Guard has asked fishermen not to venture into the sea for the next five days. Already, coastal areas have started witnessing strong currents in the sea with high waves. 

Shelter houses

Mr. Patel told the officials of various departments to make advance preparations to mitigate the impact of the cyclone in the coastal districts and establish coordination to ensure that no damage is caused by the storm. The government will set up shelter houses in the six vulnerable districts to house those residing within 5 to 10 km from the coastline, who will need to be evacuated to safety.

Apart from the storms and high winds, the IMD has also issued heavy rainfall warnings for Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagadh and Morbi districts on June 14 and 15. On June 14, the intensity of rainfall is likely to increase to “heavy to very heavy‘‘ in a few places, and to “extremely heavy‘‘ at isolated places in the affected districts on June 15. 

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