Cyclone Vayu: Gujarat ports directed to suspend operations

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Published: June 13, 2019 12:33:11 AM

The state government has also decided to stop state bus services towards coastal towns in Saurashtra-Kutch region till Friday evening.

The Somnath beach has been shut for visitors for three days (Image: javed raja)The Somnath beach has been shut for visitors for three days (Image: javed raja)

Operations at most of the ports in Gujarat have been suspended in the wake of the impending Cyclone Vayu, which is likely to hit Gujarat coast during wee hours on Thursday.

Sources in Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) confirmed that as part of precautionary measures all the ports being operated by GMB were closed till the effect of Vayu nullifies. Sunaina Tomar, Gujarat’s principal secretary for ports and transport department, said that major ports, including Hazira, Dahej and Gujarat Chemical Port Terminal, situated in south Gujarat, as well as Pipavav port in Saurashtra region had been asked to suspend operations.

Chief operating officer and vice-chairman of GMB Mukesh Kumar said that the decision on ports situated at Gulf of Kutch would be taken based on the forthcoming situation. India’s two major ports — Deendayal Upadhyay Port at Kandla and Adani Port at Mudra — are in Gulf of Kutch. In fact, Kandla port authority has decided to suspend all operations from Wednesday afternoon and sent more than 80% of its employee on leave.

Reliance Industries (RIL), which has one of Asia’s biggest oil refineries on the Gujarat coast, issued a statement on Wednesday saying that all required precautionary and safety measures have been taken at the Jamnagar refinery complex with regard to the Cyclone Vayu. RIL also has a master plan in place to assist all nearby villages in coordination with Jamnagar collector and superintendent of police, says the statement, adding that RIL team is working in full coordination with all concerned state and central government agencies.

“Our preparation targets ensuring safety of people, cargo and assets, as well as mechanisms for quick achievement of business as usual post the cyclone,” stated Adani Group, which operates five ports on the west coast, including Mormugao, Hazira, Dahej, Tuna and Mundra. ‘Though we didn’t expect any adverse impact on operations in Goa, Adani Group had put disaster management plan into action and taken all necessary precautions at Mundra and Tuna ports in Kutch district, added the statement.

According to Indian Meteorological Department, Cyclone Vayu originated in the Arabian Sea and is likely to cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva with wind speed of around 150 km per hour gusting to 170 kmph by Thursday morning.

The state government has also decided to stop state bus services towards coastal towns in Saurashtra-Kutch region till Friday evening.

As many as 14 IAS officers have been deployed at the main control room in the state capital Gandhinagar to monitor real time impact of the cyclone. Top officials of fisheries, energy, road & building, home and irrigation departments are coordinating the control room.

Ahmedabad district administration has stated preparing two lakh food packets for the people of Saurashtra-Kuch region where Cyclone Vayu can possibly create maximum damage.

The fishery department has been communicated by the district headquarters and units across the Gujarat border to convey fishery association for return of fishing boat to harbour due cyclone.

“We have positioned our aircraft at Daman and Ahmedabad and ships at Mundra, Okha and Jakhau. The ships and aircraft are being manned round the clock and kept on immediate notice for motoring for any emergency situation. The ships and aircraft have been directed to be prepared for any oil spill response by the merchant ship in the region,” said coast guard inspector general Rakesh Pal.

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