New Delhi: Authorities in India began evacuating people in the State of Gujarat and the Union Territory of Diu on Wednesday ahead of Cyclone Vayu
The Indian government confirmed that around 300,000 people are expected to be evacuated to protect them from the storm.
Categorised as a 'very severe cyclonic storm', Vayu is expected to make landfall on Thursday with wind speeds of 140 km to 150 km.
Detailed advisories have been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Gujarat state government and Diu's administration directing them to take all precautionary measures that no human life is lost, damage to vital infrastructure is minimised, and that all essential services impacted quickly recover.
One advisory from the Home Ministry confirms that authorities in Gujarat and Diu planned to evacuate 300,000 people, adding: "The evacuated people will be shifted to around 700 cyclone/relief shelters."
As many as 39 teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deputed to help in evacuation, search, rescue and relief operations. Additionally, 34 teams of the Indian Army have been put on standby.
Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi said: "The Central Government is closely monitoring the situation due to Cyclone Vayu in Gujarat and other parts of India.
"I have been constantly in touch with State Governments. NDRF and other agencies are working round the clock to provide all possible assistance."
According to an official statement, Home Minister Amit Shah is also regularly reviewing the situation.
Gujarat's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani called on tourists visiting the coastal areas of Somnath, Dwarka, and Kutch to move to safer areas or other states by Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy (IN) personnel have also been put on standby. The IN's diving and rescue teams and relief material have been kept standby.
In addition to IN P8I and IL aircraft, medical teams and facilities at the Indian Naval Hospital Asvini in Mumbai are also standby.
In a statement on Twitter, the IN's spokesperson wrote: "IN ships operating at sea and IN aircraft/ Helicopters on routine sorties have been directed to inform fishing vessels operating at sea and advise them to return to harbour.
"Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks & relief material have been embarked on board nominated ships of WNC and are ready to be deployed at short notice," it added.