INDIA. Mumbai: While over 40000 people were shifted following the earthquake on Wednesday at Kutch in Gujarat on Wednesday evening, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard geared up to face any eventuality in anticipation of the expected landfall of cyclone Biparjoy on Thursday.
The tremor of 3.5 magnitudes (Richter scale ) was recorded at 5.05 pm, about 5 km West South West (WSW) of “Bhachau” in the Kutch district. The cyclone is likely to cross Saurashtra, Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts and make landfall near Jakhau Port in Kutch by Thursday evening, the Institute of Seismological Research, Gandhinagar, stated.
The Indian Navy has kept 04 ships, 05 relief teams each at Porbandar and Okha, and 15 teams at INS Valsura (Jamnagar) have been kept standby. Besides, the helicopters at INS Hansa and INS Shikra (Mumbai) are ready for ferry to Gujarat. Additionally, P8i and Dornier aircraft ex Hansa are ready, an IN spokesman said.
The Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) remote operating stations, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) and the Coast Guard operation centres are being manned 24X7. Review preparedness meetings were held in the states towards coordinated efforts on Wednesday, and neighbouring MRCCS were alerted about the availability of Search and Rescue Operations assistance during the cyclone, an ICG spokesman said.
On reviewing the situation and preparedness in the coastal areas under the seaboard, pre-emptive measures for the cyclone in the Arabian Sea were initiated along the coasts under the seaboard by the ICG to save life and property at sea. ICG ships and aircraft on the seaboard relayed weather warnings and shepherded Indian fishing boats, ports, and oil rigs.
ICG has initiated outreach to advise the fishing community, mariners and stakeholders to take necessary precautions and safety measures. In all, 55 personnel were safely evacuated from mid-sea in adverse weather conditions, as per ICG.
While there have been no reports of loss of life and property immediately available, the NDRF has deployed 18 teams in Gujarat in view of the anticipated landfall of Biparjoy. They are Kutch district-04 teams, Rajkot and Devbhumi Dwarka- 03 teams each, Jamnagar-02 and Porbandar, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Morbi, Valsad and Gandhinagar– one each.