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Hundreds of Thousands in India Evacuated Ahead of Severe Cyclone

Cyclone Vayu could bring the most powerful storm in two decades to the Indian state of Gujarat, and mass evacuations are ongoing.

Cyclone Vayu is charging towards western India and southeastern Pakistan and is expected to make landfall Thursday. Direct Relief is contacting local partner healthcare facilities to gauge medical needs.  (Map courtesy of earth.nullschool.net)
Cyclone Vayu is charging towards western India and southeastern Pakistan and is expected to make landfall Thursday. Direct Relief is contacting local partner healthcare facilities to gauge medical needs. (Map courtesy of earth.nullschool.net)

Tropical Cyclone Vayu is barreling toward the Indian state of Gujarat, and the storm may put as many as 6 million people at risk when it makes landfall Thursday. The storm is producing winds of up to 102 miles per hour, and more than 300,000 people have already been evacuated from vulnerable locations.  India’s National Disaster Response Force has been deployed and military units have been put on standby. Local schools will be closed for at least 3 days.

The storm would be the second one to hit India this year, following Cyclone Fani in May. That storm, which made landfall in the Indian state of Odisha, led to deaths of at least 89 people. Authorities were able to evacuate about 1 million people ahead of the storm’s impact.

Cyclone Vayu would be the strongest cyclone to hit Gujarat in 20 years, as it is rare for cyclones to make landfall so far north in the Arabian Sea.

Direct Relief has staff in India, is in communication with local healthcare partners across the region, and is ready to respond should medical aid be requested.

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