A cyclonic storm barrelling towards western India has strengthened with gusts of up to 170 kilometres per hour expected when it hits land early Thursday, forecasters said.
With the warning of a heavy rainfall in parts of Gujarat, the state government has chose to deploy NDRF personnel in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from Tuesday morning.
"This cyclone is just parallel to the Goa coast and it is not going to strike over Goa but because it is parallel, the wind speed will be very high and clouding and thundering will be intense", he said.
The fishermen of Sindh are advised not to venture in open sea during Wednesday evening to Friday evening, as the sea conditions are likely to be very rough/high.
India's biggest oil refinery, owned by Reliance Industries, is in Gujarat, though a company official said the cyclone was expected to weaken by the time it reached the Jamnagar-based refinery. A storm surge of about 1-1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts.
A holiday has been declared in schools, colleges and anganwadis on June 12 and June 13 in these 10 districts.
The Met department said the deep depression in the east Arabian Sea having moved north/northwest-ward intensified into tropical cyclone Vayu and lay now at a distance of about 1,150 kilometres south of Karachi.
Nayara Energy, owned by a consortium led by Russia's Rosneft, said it was monitoring the situation and also taking precautionary measures at its Gujarat refinery.
The government has also put the Army, the Navy and the Coast Guard on alert.
Gujarat chief secretary and Advisor to Administrator of Diu were present via video conferencing and they apprised the officials about preparatory measures put in place for dealing with cyclonic storm.
The Airports Authority of India suspended flight operations at its airports in Porbandar, Diu, Bhavnagar, Keshod and Kandla for 24 hours from Wednesday midnight.
The Western Railway has made a decision to short-terminate 28 trains and cancel 40 trains, including Veraval-Amreli Passenger, Amreli-Junagadh, Delvada-Veraval, on Wednesday and Thursday.
In South Gujarat, the local administration has warned people against visiting beaches like Suwali and Dumas in Surat, Dandi and Ubhrat in Navsari and Tithal in Valsad district.
The Chief Secretary of Gujarat, Jagdeep Narayan Singh said last night that around 2,80,000 people from the region that is expected to be affected due to the cyclone are evacuated to prevent any mishap.