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Gujarat braces for Cyclone Nilofar, authorities in Kutch begin evacuation

Three teams of NDRF personnel with boats, deep sea diving sets and medical kits have reached Surat.

Updated:October 29, 2014, 8:34 AM IST
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Gujarat braces for Cyclone Nilofar, authorities in Kutch begin evacuation
Three teams of NDRF personnel with boats, deep sea diving sets and medical kits have reached Surat.

New Delhi: Gujarat is bracing for Cyclone Nilofar, which is expected to hit the state's coast on Friday. The Met department said that the very severe cyclonic storm over westcentral Arabian Sea moved nearly northward and lay centred at 2330 hours IST of 28th October, 2014 near latitude 17.60 N and longitude 61.80 E, about 970 km southwest of Naliya (Gujarat), 980 km southwest of Karachi (Pakistan) and 450 km southeast of Masirah (Oman).

Authorities in Kutch have started evacuating residents from 7 districts along the shore line. Three teams of NDRF personnel with boats, deep sea diving sets and medical kits have reached Surat. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is preparing itself to deal with any eventuality arising out of the very severe cyclonic storm.

The ICG has activated cyclone monitoring cells and deployed 30 ICG ships, besides aircraft and helicopters, to tackle the situation, a senior official said on Tuesday. "The Coast Guard is ready to tackle any eventuality due to this very severe cyclonic storm. We have deployed four Dornier aircraft, two ALH helicopters and around 30 ICG ships to deal with the situation," said Commander (ICG), North West Region, Inspector General (IG) Kuldip Singh Sheoran. He was addressing reporters at the Coast Guard Region (North-West) headquarter in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.

"The Cyclone Monitoring Cells were activated at ICG operation centres at Gandhinagar, Porbanadar, Jakahu, Mundra, Vadinar, Okha and Pipavav which are manning round-the-clock and monitoring the cyclonic movement," he said. Sheoran said there are 8 radars that can stream live visuals up to 25 nautical miles. "This will help in tracing the situation of fishermen from Gandhinagar headquarter," he added.

Asked whether Coast Gurad will need extra deployment of force, Sheoran said, "Looking at the intensity of 'Nilofar', we can say that we will be capable of taking proper measures." Responding to a query, Sheoran said that 70 per cent of fishing boats have come inside the coast, while other 30 per cent will be inside before 'Nilofar' hits the coast. "The ICG will trace fishermen through Distress Alert Transponders (DAT), which have been given to most of the fishermen in the state," he said.

Meanwhile, an ICG release said that all ports have been asked to broadcast the cyclone warning at regular intervals to all ships within the port limits and at anchorage and keep the disaster contingency plan ready. "The oil handling agencies in Gujarat have also been asked to monitor the situation closely and take necessary action as per local oil spill contingency plan," it added. The Port Trust of Mundra, Kandla, Reliance and IOC have also been asked to take necessary action as per this plan, the statement said.

(With additional information from PTI)

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