AHMEDABAD: With Gujarat bracing for the approaching cyclonic storm 'Nisarg', the Valsad and Navsari district administrations have started evacuating nearly 20,000 people from 47 villages located close to the state coastline, officials said on Tuesday.
Besides, in a relief to people living near the shore, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday indicated the cyclone may not make a landfall on the Gujarat coast.
However, it will have an impact in the form of gusty winds coupled with heavy rainfall in the coastal belt, state MeT centre director Jayanta Sarkar said.
As a precautionary measure, the district administrations of Valsad and Navsari have started shifting people living near the coast to safer places.
In all, nearly 20,000 people will be shifted from both the districts.
"We have deployed our teams to shift nearly 10,000 people living in 35 coastal villages. We have already identified shelter homes and started the evacuation process," Valsad Collector R R Raval said.
In adjoining Navsari district also, the administration has initiated the process of shifting some 10,200 people from 12 villages, Collector Ardra Agarwal said.
As per an IMD release, the deep depression over east-central Arabian Sea is currently around 670 km from Surat and it may intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next six hours.
In the subsequent 12 hours, it will turn into a severe cyclonic storm and "cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibaug of Maharashtra during the afternoon of June 3, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 100 to 110 kmph," it said.
"As per the present predictions, the cyclone will make a landfall near Alibaug, that is in between north Maharashtra and south Gujarat. Though the cyclone will not cross south Gujarat, it will leave its impact in the form of gusty winds and heavy rainfall in south Gujarat," said Sarkar.
As many as 14 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in the coastal region.
Five more teams will be airlifted from other states and reach here soon, a statement by NDRF said.