Ahmedabad, Jun 12 The Gujarat Government has started deploying National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams in the districts likely to be affected by the approaching cyclonic storm Biparjoy.

As of Monday morning, seven NDRF teams have been deployed in Rajkot, Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar and Dwarka and three teams have been kept on standby in Vadodara. Twelve teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are also ready to reach affected areas as and when required.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday revised its Yellow Alert to Orange Alert for the coast of Saurashtra and Kutch.

Cyclone Biparjoy - categorised as an extremely severe cyclonic storm - lay centred about 360 km southwest of Porbandar on the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat. The cyclone has moved north at a speed of 5 kmph.

“It is very likely to move nearly northward till June 14th morning and then move north-northeast wards and cross the Saurashtra and Kutch, and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) by noon of June 15 as a Very Severe Cyclonic storm, with a maximum sustained wind speed on surface of 125-135 kmph, gusting to 150 kmph,” said an advisory issued by the National Emergency Response Centre under the Home Ministry, on the morning of June 12.

Heavy rainfall warning has been issued for the districts of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagadh and Morbi.

A warning has been issued to fishermen and fishing operations in the Arabian Sea have been suspended till June 15. Fishermen out at sea have been advised to return to the coast.

A local Level-4 warning has been issued for all ports along the Saurashtra and Kutch coast, including Jakhau, Mandavi, Mundra, New Kandla, Navlakhi, Jamnagar, Salaya, Okha and Porbandar. High tidal waves measuring 3.5-7 meters are likely till midnight of June 13.

Ministers assigned to districts

The Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has assigned nine senior ministers the responsibility of each of the districts, to ensure quick decision-making and to guide the district administration on disaster management planning.

Those assigned the responsibilities include State health minister and MoS Parliamentary Affairs Praful Pansheriya (for Kutch district), State Finance Minister Kanubhai Desai (Morbi), State agriculture minister Raghavji Patel (Rajkot), Water Resources Minister Kunwarji Bavaliya (for Porbandar), Tourism Minister Mulu Bera (for Jamnagar), MoS for Home Harsh Sanghvi (for Devbhumi Dwarka), MoS for Cooperation Jagdish Vishwakarma (for Junagadh) and Fisheries Minister Parshottam Solanki (for Gir Somnath district). These ministers will reach the districts assigned to them and stay there for three days to guide operations.

The State government has also arranged shelters, pumping machines, and generators for immediate restoration of essential supplies such as electricity, water, medicine. Boats have been anchored safely on the coast and other emergency requirements for quick disposal of dead bodies in case of animal casualties, and preparedness of health services so that pregnant mothers do not have any difficulty in giving birth in case of storms, a statement said.

The state government is coordinating with the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Army for potential disaster response.