The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that thunderstorm and lightning accompanied with the gusty wind (40-50 kmph) are very likely at isolated places in the districts of North Gujarat region including Banaskantha and Sabarkantha on Wednesday and Thursday.

The alert comes in wake of Cyclone Vayu, which is likely to make landfall over the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat as a severe cyclonic storm early Thursday morning with winds gusting up to 135 kmph and storm surging up to 1.5 metres. Tropical Cyclone Vayu, which formed on Monday, strengthened on Tuesday into a hurricane-strength tropical cyclone (meaning winds in excess of 120 kmph or 75 mph) in the Arabian Sea. Gujarat government has declared a two-day holiday for all the schools and colleges located in several parts of Gujarat.

As preparatory actions to tackle any adversities, HQ Western Naval Command, Mumbai, is on a stand-by and to respond expeditiously to the developing situation in view of Cyclone-Vayu. State Administration, local District authorities and Indian Coast Guard authorities have already been directed to caution fishermen against proceeding to sea and take all necessary precautions in view of the inclement weather conditions.

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks and relief material have been embarked on board nominated ships of the Command and are ready to be deployed at a short notice.

It’s also been reported, that Indian Navy ships, aircraft and choppers operating at sea are on routine sorties and have been directed to inform and advise fishing vessels operating at sea to return to harbour.

Indian Navy Diving and Rescue Teams and Relief Material have been kept on standby and handy to render assistance to civil authorities, as and when required. Medical teams and facilities at INH Asvini in Mumbai are also on a standby to handle medical emergencies. Headquarters, offshore Defence and Advisory Group has also issued an advisory on cyclone Vayu to intimate all offshore platforms.

Long-range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft – P8i and IL aircraft are also on a standby to undertake SAR missions if required.