Enviornment Prelims cum Mains

Cyclone Vayu: 2.5 lakh shifted in Gujarat ahead of landfall

In News:

  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has classified Cyclone “Vayu ” as a “very severe” storm and predicted wind speeds of up to 175 km per hour during landfall on the Saurashtra coast.
  • More than 2.5 lakh people have been relocated from the affected coastal areas to safer locations in more than 2000 shelters.


News Summary

  • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 40 teams along the coastal areas of Gujarat and the union territory of Diu.
  • The government has also deployed the SDRF and other agencies while the Army, Air Force and the Navy have been put on standby for rescue operations along the coastal districts in Saurashtra.
  • The Coast Guard has also deployed ships and aircraft to enable search and rescue operations.
  • After making the landfall, the cyclone is likely to move along and parallel to the Saurashtra and Kutch coast.


Destruction caused by Cyclones:

  • There are three elements associated with cyclones which cause destruction during its occurrence. These are:
      • Strong Winds/Squall
      • Torrential rains and inland flooding
      • Storm Surge



Mitigation Measures:.

  • Structural measures
    • Construction of cyclone shelters and cyclone resistant buildings.
    • Tsunami breakwaters
    • Planting more trees with strong roots, mangroves and canopies.
    • Increasing the river dike height.
    • Evacuation routes identification.


  • Non-structural measures
    • Early warning dissemination systems
    • Developing communication infrastructure.
    • Management of coastal zones,
    • Awareness generation and disaster risk management
    • Capacity building of all the stakeholders involved.
    • Coastal Regulation Zone Act- Strict implementation.
    • Land Use zoning in accordance with CRZ.
    • Natural Bioshields (Mangroves) and shelter belt plantation (Casuarinas).
    • Maintaining Natural Sand Dunes.
    • Maintaining and promoting beach development.
    • Training and education.
  • These measures are being adopted and tackled on State to State basis under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) being implemented through World Bank Assistance.



  • Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating and improving capabilities to ensure effective coordination to respond and to recover from natural and man-made disasters.
  • Cyclone preparedness measures include:
    • Development of Policies and Guidelines.
    • Development of Cyclone Preparedness and Response (P&R) Plan
    • Establishment of cyclone forecasting, tracking and  warning mechanism
    • Ensure necessary safety measures along the Coastal areas
    • Review and strengthening relief distribution system and stock piling
    • Fail-safe communication and last mile connectivity.
    • Resource Mapping
    • Training and capacity building/awareness measures
    • Ensure proper drainage system to avoid flood like conditions
    • Implementation of National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project


During Cyclone: Response

  • Use of Social media platform for awareness generation and reduce number of casualities.
  • Food and health care delivery via mobile hospitals, with priorities to women child & elders.
  • Evacuation and quicker response


How evacuation is done?

Researchers classify evacuation exercises as preventive, vertical, and shelter-in-place.

  • In preventive (or horizontal) evacuation, the impact area is meant to be completely evacuated, but this is a measure rarely taken in India because of poor roads and inadequate public transportation.
  • Shelter-in-place evacuation involves fortification of existing houses and community buildings, which again required financial resources.
  • In vertical evacuation, people are directed to specially designed buildings within the impact area.


About India Meteorological Department (IMD)

  • The IMD is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
  • Headquarter: Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.
  • Regional Offices: Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune.
  • Functions:
    • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
    • It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.
  • It is also one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of the World Meteorological Organization.
  • In the past few years, the IMD’s capability to predict and track the trajectories of tropical cyclones has improved considerably, leading to timely warnings and effective response measures.
  • As a result, the damage caused by these cyclones has been significantly reduced.

Image result for vayu cyclone


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