Cyclone Biparjoy To Make Landfall In Hours, 74,000 Evacuated

Cyclone Biparjoy
Cyclone Biparjoy

Gujarat’s coastal region has been evacuated ahead of cyclone Biparjoy’s expected landfall in Kutch district this evening. The state has issued red and orange alerts in several districts.

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Cyclone Biparjoy is less than 200 km from the Gujarat coast at the moment. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it will cross Saurashtra and Kutch, as well as the adjacent Pakistan coast between Mandvi and Karachi near Jakhau Port between 4-8 PM.

As a “very severe cyclonic storm” of category 3, Biparjoy is expected to carry maximum wind speeds of 115-125 kmph. In the afternoon, the wind speed is likely to pick up.

“VSCS Cyclone Biparjoy over Northeast Arabian Sea at 0230 hours IST on 15th June, 2023 about 200 km west-southwest of Jakhau Port (Gujarat).” In its latest update on the cyclone, IMD said that the cyclone would cross Saurashtra, Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi and Karachi near Jakhau Port by evening on 15th June as a VSVS.

As cyclone Biparjoy approaches the coast, rain intensity will increase, with isolated places in Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, and Jamnagar districts likely to experience extremely heavy rainfall. Approximately 120 villages in Kutch district are between zero and 10 kilometers from the seashore.

Today, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel chaired a meeting at the State Emergency Operation Center in Gandhinagar to review cyclone preparedness. According to the government, 74,345 people have been moved to temporary shelters in Kutch, Jamnagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Devbhumi Dwarka, Junagadh, Porbandar and Gir Somnath.

In different coastal districts, 18 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 12 teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), 115 teams of the State Road and Building Department, and 397 teams of the State Electricity Department are on the ground.

As a result of the approaching cyclone, the Navy is also on standby. An Indian Navy statement said four ships with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks are on standby at short notice. Porbandar and Okha each have five relief teams, and Valsura has 15 relief teams to assist civil authorities.

Due to the approaching cyclone, fishing activities have been suspended until tomorrow (June 16), ports have been closed, and ships have been anchored.

In order to ensure the safety of passengers and train operations, 76 trains have been cancelled by the Western Railway. Dwarkadhish Temple in Devbhumi Dwarka and Somnath Temple in Gir Somnath district will remain closed for devotees on Thursday.

It is likely that low-lying areas of the districts that will be affected by the landfall will be inundated by a storm surge of about 2-3 metres above the astronomical tide. In some places, the tides could rise up to 3-6 metres, according to the IMD. Following ‘Tauktae’ in May 2021, this will be the second cyclone to hit the state in two years.

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