As the severe cyclonic storm Vayu skipped Gujarat coast on Thursday, its mild effects were seen in the coastal town of Veraval in the form of high velocity winds and light rainfall throughout the day.
However, daily routine was undisturbed as residents went about their lives, especially in the evening hours as shops opened up and business resumed. The district administration on Thursday said there was minimal damage, and only a few tin-shed houses and trees had borne the brunt of the winds. However, there were traffic jams on major roads.
“Traffic had became congested on major routes connecting Gir Somnath and Veraval as the roads were blocked by trees uprooted by the storm. We have successfully cleared all the jams and traffic is back to normal now. No casualty or injury was reported today,” said Gir Somnath Collector Ajay Prakash
However, thousands of evacuees from coastal areas are still in the shelter homes set up by the district administration. A total of 101 homes across Gir Somnath were readied by Wednesday in preparation for the cyclone.
“Despite minimal chances of any destruction due to the storm, we are still keeping people in the shelter homes till Friday afternoon just to be safe,” Prakash said.
At Jhalesar Society where the fishing community lives in Veraval, teams of National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and Gujarat Police were seen stationed since Thursday morning. “We have successfully managed to shift almost all women and children of Jhalesar to the nearby shelter,” Mahendra Thakur, sub inspector and team head, NDRF said. “The fishermen are now trying to shift their boats to farther areas as the sea waves were getting stronger in the morning. But no major disruption of services was reported.”
At Jhalesar, residents were seen trying to place sand bags near the bottom pillars of a mosque. They said heavy winds had blown away a large portion of the soil supporting the pillars. “The mosque is ten years old and the soil around the bottom of its pillars is getting eroded due to the wind. We then filled sacks of sand for hours so that the building doesn’t collapse,” Salim Pateliya, a resident of Jhalesar, said.
The fishermen did not go out to sea as the sky remained overcast throughout the day, winds blew with high velocity, and tall waves crashed the shores. “This is the fourth day that we have not gone fishing. We hope by Saturday, things will get back to normal,” fisherman Salman said.
At Gir Somnath Temple, no visitors were allowed throughout the day. Shops remained closed, leaving the streets empty.