India to evacuate 300,000 from cyclone
AHMEDABAD (AFP), 11 JUNE, 2019 -Almost 300,000 people are set to be evacuated in the western Indian state of Gujarat out of the path of a severe cyclonic storm due in two days, authorities said Tuesday.
“The weather department’s latest bulletin forecasts that cyclone Vayu will make landfall... early in the morning on June 13,” senior state official JN Singh told reporters.
“We have identified 2.91 lakh (291,000) people living in low-lying areas of 10 coastal districts who will be evacuated by Wednesday afternoon,” Singh said after an emergency meeting.
Vayu, currently a cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea, is set to intensify and make landfall in Gujarat on Thursday packing winds gusting up to 135 kilometres (85 miles) per hour and heavy rains, forecasters say.
The weather system, currently barrelling northwestwards parallel to the Indian coast, was also expected to draw moisture away from India’s muchneeded annual monsoon rains.
The monsoon hit the southwestern state of Kerala last week but was several days late.
Almost half of is facing drought-like conditions because of deficient premonsoon rainfall, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).