Mumbai and some neighbouring coastal areas of Maharashtra witnessed a windy Wednesday morning as cyclone 'Vayu' turned into a "very severe cyclonic storm", the weather department said. As the cyclone continued to progress towards Saurashtra and Kutch regions of neighbouring Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) upgraded its severity condition.
"Cyclone Vayu has turned into a very severe cyclonic storm. It would cause gusty winds to blow at a speed of 145 kmph to 170 kmph by Thursday morning," the IMD said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) started landing in Gujarat with the help of the Indian Air Force to undertake preventive evacuation of people living on the west coast, an IAF official said.
Because of the cyclonic storm, the Arabian Sea has turned turbulent and bigger waves are advancing towards coastal areas, the IMD said. Huge sea waves lashed Devbaug village in Malvan tehsil of Maharashtra's Sindhudurg district on Wednesday.
An official at the district collectorate said since Devbaug is located in a low-lying area, it often gets inundated when the sea is rough, and maintained that so far the situation is under control. Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reviewed the preparations for cyclone Vayu, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on Thursday, and directed officials to ensure all possible steps for the safety of people.
The Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, Army and Air Force units have been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance, an official earlier said.