"Very severe cyclonic storm" Vayu is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on June 13.
The cyclone is now located around 200 km south, south-west of Veraval and "is very likely to move almost northwards and hit the Gujarat coast with wind speed of 155 to 165 kmph gusting to 180 kmph around afternoon of June 13", a release issued by the MeT department said. Winds could strengthen to as high as 165 km/h with stronger gusts, potentially making the cyclone the equivalent strength of a Category 2 hurricane, experts said.
Around 300,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas in India as Cyclone Vayu approached, according to reports.
Air passengers to and from the megapolis had a tough time Wednesday as almost 400 flights were affected due to bad weather caused by the cycle Vayu which hit the neighbouring Gujarat coast, according to an airport official.
India's biggest oil refinery, owned by Reliance Industries, is in Gujarat, though a company official said the cyclone was expected to weaken by the time it reached the Jamnagar-based refinery.
All preparations for the Cyclone Vayu were reviewed by the National Crisis Management Committee on Tuesday under Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha. A general alert has been sounded across 10 districts in Gujarat as wind speeds are likely to touch 170 kilometres per hour, a home ministry official said.
Normally a cyclone becomes weak after its landfall. The State government has also appealed the tourists to leave to safer places.
A defence release said the Army has allotted 24 columns on standby and is ready to carry out any rescue and relief operations. Medical teams and facilities at Indian Naval hospital in Mumbai are on standby to handle medical emergencies.
The sea-breeze is likely to remain cutoff on Thursday/Friday which can lead to heatwave like conditions in coastal areas of Sindh including Karachi, Heat Wave Early Warning Centre of the met office said in a statement. "There are three groups of lions living in low lying areas".