Gujarat readies for cyclone Phet, squalls hit coastal areas
Gujarat was on high alert with rescue teams rushing in as rains and squalls were reported along the coast today. The weather office warned that these may intensify with cyclone Phet likely to hit the state over the next few days.india Updated: Jun 02, 2010 21:56 IST
Gujarat was on high alert with rescue teams rushing in as rains and squalls were reported along the coast on Wednesday.
The weather office warned that these may intensify with cyclone Phet likely to hit the state over the next few days.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), cyclone Phet has intensified further and lies centralised about 1,000 km southwest of Naliya in the Kutch region of Gujarat.
"It is slated to move in the north-north westerly direction for the next 24 hours towards the Oman coast and then may re-curve north-eastwards towards Gujarat," an IMD official forecast Wednesday evening.
The state has sought updated satellite photographs, and put the district and taluka administrations on alert to deal with the emerging situation.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi convened a meeting of cabinet ministers, the chief secretary and secretaries of all related departments, and also had India Meteorological Department (IMD) director Kamaljeet Ray and Director General of Police S.S. Khandwawala in attendance.
A government spokesperson announced that all control rooms from district to taluka levels have been made operational and secretaries in-charge of various districts have been rushed to their areas in the Saurashtra-Kutch region.
"The administration is equipped with a contingency plan for disaster management. Fishermen have been directed to return home. Health and sanitation teams are ready with necessary medicines and insecticides. Civil supply department has made arrangements for providing enough food stocks in the villages," he said.
Six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have reached Kutch, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Junagadh and Rajkot.
Two more teams have been dispatched to Kutch and Jamnagar. State Reserve Police (SRP) contingents are already on the way and state transport buses have been kept ready at various points for short notice deployment for relief duties.
The chief minister has directed both public and private hospitals to be prepared to deal with any contingency and emergency services of 108 service vans are ready.
Meanwhile, the sweltering weather in Gujarat underwent a dramatic change with a fall in temperature and an overcast sky.
Not only the coastal areas of the state but cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat, besides smaller towns, received showers though squalls affected transport and traffic on some roads.
The Met office attributed the changed conditions to the affect of the impending cyclonic storm.
Showers have been reported from Amreli, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar districts of the Saurashtra region and Dharmpur in Valsad, besides other parts of south Gujarat. The sea would be rough and fishermen have been cautioned not to go out. The ports in the state have also been alerted.
According to reports from Saurashtra, two people have died within the 24 hours till Wednesday evening.
While Sanjay Baria was struck by lightening in Khakhiana village of Rajkot district, an unidentified woman was killed in a wall collapse due to rains which also left six others injured in Wankaner in Rajkot district.