Amit Shah chairs meeting on Cyclone Vayu

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It is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours.

D Sivananda Pai, head of the IMD's long-range forecasting said, "Progress of the monsoon seems unlikely till 15-16 June because the cyclone will drag moisture away".

The cyclonic storm is likely to bring heavy rainfall along the western coast, according to the Indian Metrological Department (IMD).

On Monday, the depression over south-east adjoining Lakshadweep and east-central Arabian Sea, moved northwards with a speed of about 31 kilometres per hour.

Several coastal districts in the Saurashtra region were likely to witness heavy to very heavy rains, heralding pre-monsoon showers, according to MeT officials.

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It was centred over the Eastcentral Arabian Sea, about 460 km north-northwest of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep), 540 km southsouthwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 690 km almost south of Veraval (Gujarat) during the early morning hours.

With the warning of a heavy rainfall in parts of Gujarat, the state government has chose to deploy NDRF personnel in coastal areas of Saurashtra and Kutch from Tuesday morning. Yet, it warned fishermen from venturing into the sea till June 13. "Those out in deep seas are advised return to the coast", said Sarkar.

Pankaj Kumar also chaired a multi-department meeting to take stock of the situation and tackle any emergency arising out of the cyclonic activity.

The Gujarat government has deployed 15 teams of NDRF personnel in Saurashtra and Kutch from Tuesday morning. He urged all the departments concerned to work in close co-ordination and directed the rescue, relief and other departments to conduct a mock drill in Suarashtra and Kutch, if required. Wind speeds could reach up to 155 kmph during landfall in Gujarat. It is likely to move north-northwestwards during next 72 hours, it said. "It is very likely to be 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph over South Gujarat and Maharashtra Coasts" on June 12, while it could go up to 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph over north Arabian Sea on June 13.

Gujarat is at present reeling under severe heat wave as the maximum temperature in major cities, including Ahmedabad, has been over 43 degrees Celsius since the last week of May.

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