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Cyclone Biparjoy: Zero Deaths, Over A Lakh People Evacuated To Shelter Homes, Say Sources

The cyclone made landfall near Jakhau on the Kutch coast of Gujarat on Thursday evening, felling trees and electric poles and damaging houses.

Cyclone Biparjoy
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The evacuation of over a lakh people to shelter homes within three days before Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall in Gujarat indicated good coordination between the state and central governments and minimised damage, official sources said on Sunday.

They said no deaths have been reported till now because of the cyclone.

The cyclone made landfall near Jakhau on the Kutch coast of Gujarat on Thursday evening, felling trees and electric poles and damaging houses.

In nine Gujarat districts, a minister each from the state and the Centre was deputed to oversee the preparations, a senior official added.

Keeping in mind the aim of 'zero casualties', a senior official said the primary objective was to evacuate people residing within a 10-kilometre radius of the expected impact zone. 

"A comprehensive plan was devised to identify the number of people residing within the 0-5-kilometre and the 5-10-kilometre radius. In Kutch district alone, 122 villages were identified within the 0-10-kilometre range while 72 villages fell within the 0-5-kilometre radius," the official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation himself and directed the actions that should be taken. He also gave guidance to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, the official said. 

"This is the best example of disaster management," he added.

On June 11, Patel sent the ministers to each Gujarat district to oversee the preparations. The prime minister instructed that ministers from both the central and state governments should be directly involved in the preparations to avoid any untoward incident, especially in the Saurashtra region's Gir-Somnath, Porbandar, Junagadh, Jamnagar and the Kutch districts where the cyclone was expected to have the most severe impact, the official said.

The cyclone affected eight coastal districts of Gujarat. 

The official added that 707 babies were born in the shelter homes.

The coastal regions of Kutch and other areas affected by the cyclone are home to ports such as Kandla, Mundra, Mandvi and the Jakhau Fisheries Port. 

"These ports were bustling with commercial activity, including the arrival and departure of thousands of trucks and the presence of numerous ships. Ensuring the safety of the labourers and removing ships from the port area was a priority. Meetings were conducted with stakeholders to coordinate the evacuation efforts," the official said.

Another significant challenge was convincing the coastal residents to move to designated shelter homes, he added. 

"Public representatives from the block panchayat level to central ministers visited the villages to counsel and educate the residents about the severity of the situation. The collective effort successfully led to the evacuation of over 1,08,000 (1.08 lakh) people to shelter homes in safe locations within three days from June 12 to 14," he said.

The official added that the administration's efforts were also extended to safeguard the well-being of animals, a vital part of the region's economy. 

"Over 2,00,000 (two lakh) animals were safely relocated to higher ground from the coastal areas of Kutch to protect them from the cyclone's impact," he said. 

According to the India Meteorological Department, the depression -- a remnant of the cyclonic storm -- over central parts of south Rajasthan and its neighbourhood moved east-northeastwards at a speed of 10 kilometres per hour in the morning.

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It is very likely to continue to move east-northeastwards and maintain the intensity of depression during the next 12 hours, the weather office said.

-With PTI Input

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