More than 50,000 people living in coastal areas of South Gujarat and around 4,000 residents of the neighbouring Union Territory of Daman have so far been shifted to safer places ahead of the approaching cyclonic storm ‘Nisarga’, officials said today.
Police have been deployed on all the beaches in Gujarat’s coastal belt and people have been asked to remain indoors, they said. As many as 50,000 people living near the coastline in South Gujarat have already been shifted to safer places while work is in progress to evacuate more people, Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue, Pankaj Kumar said. The cyclone would have maximum impact on the coastal districts of Valsad and Navsari, followed Bharuch and Surat, he said. ‘It is expected that the wind speed will remain between 100 to 110 kmph in Valsad and Navsari when the cyclone hits the coast between south Gujarat and north Maharashtra. All the fishermen have already been called back from the sea. Salt-pan workers along with shrimp farm workers have also been shifted to safer locations,’ Mr Kumar said in a statement. The nearly 50,000 people evacuated so far in Gujarat include 32,000 from Valsad district alone.
While the cyclone is expected to cross the state coast in the afternoon, light rain started in most parts of Valsad and Navsari districts since morning.
As many as 15 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and six teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed at different locations to help local administration in relief and rescue works, Mr Kumar said. As a precautionary measure, about 236 large hoardings and 120 high mast lights have been removed from Surat, Valsad and other towns of coastal region, he said. Around 250 ambulances and 170 emergency medical teams have been kept on stand-by in the South Gujarat region to address any eventuality, the official said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has indicated that the cyclone may not make a landfall on the Gujarat coast. However, it will have an impact in the form of gusty winds coupled with heavy rainfall in the coastal belt.