Cyclone Vayu approaches India
Our live coverage of Tropical Cyclone Vayu has ended. Read more about how India prepared for the storm here.
Although Tropical Cyclone Vayu appears to be moving away from Gujarat, state administration officials will remain on high alert until Friday night, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said Thursday.
All schools and colleges in 10 districts in Gujarat will remain closed on Friday, Rupani said at a news conference.
Five airports in India's Gujarat region will resume operations starting tonight, India's Airport Authority said.
The airports had previously suspended flights because of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.
Read more details on airport operations below:
A giant dust storm blanketed the Indian capital of New Delhi on Wednesday night. Devanshoo Jain shared a video on Twitter.
Watch the video:
Tropical Cyclone Vayu is barreling toward the northwest coast of India and is expected to pass close to the Gujarat coast on Thursday.
While it's not forecast to make landfall, it remains a threat to the coast.
Here's a look at the numbers behind the storm:
- About 6 million people could be impacted by Tropical Cyclone Vayu, which is expected to pass today near the Indian state of Gujarat.
- Nearly 300,000 people in northwest India have been evacuated.
- The storm this morning had sustained winds of 83 to 90 mph, with gusts of almost 100 mph.
- Officials are concerned about Vayu's possible storm surge — possibly as high as 6.5 feet.
Gujarat's state's Additional Chief Secretary, Pankaj Kumar, has appealed to those in the path of Tropical Cyclone Vayu to remain in a safe place and not to venture to coastal areas.
"Each and every life is valuable for us," Kumar said at a press conference on Thursday.
He said that people who are staying in evacuation shelters will stay there for now. "We have been providing adequate food, water and medical facilities for the evacuees," Kumar said.
So far, Kumar said there has "not been a single casualty" in the state because of the cyclone.
What to expect: Tropical Cyclone Vayu is not expected to make landfall but it is passing close to the coast, bringing strong gusts of wind, heavy rain and storm surges. Winds of 135 to 145 kilometers per hour (83-90 mph) are expected with gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour (99 mph).
India's National Disaster Management Authority is warning that a storm surge of 1.5 to 2 meters (5 - 6.5 feet) is likely to inundate low lying areas in Gujarat's Devbhumi Dwarka district, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu and Gir Somnath district.
It also warned fishermen "not to venture into the north Arabian Sea and along and off the Gujarat coast and into the east-central Arabian Sea and along and off Maharashtra" due to rough sea conditions.
India's National Disaster Response Force says it has deployed 52 teams to deal with the impact of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.
On Wednesday, teams helped to evacuate almost 300,000 people from low lying areas in Gujarat.
Vayu, classified as a "very severe cyclonic storm," is not expected to make landfall but it will pass close to the coast, bringing strong gusts of wind, heavy rain and storm surges.
The Indian Coast Guard has said that all boats in Porbander Harbour are safe. The coastal town is one of the most likely to bear the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.
What we know about the storm: Vayu formed Monday and strengthened Tuesday into a hurricane-strength tropical cyclone in the Arabian Sea. Powerful tropical cyclones rarely make it this far north in the Arabian Sea, and Gujarat state has not had a hurricane-strength storm make landfall in 20 years.
What to expect: The immediate coastline will still see heavy rain, strong winds, and storm surge, but the impacts will not be as great and they will not spread as far inland.