May 17, 2021 6:46:00 pm
Operations of at least 21 ports in Gujarat, including the major port of Kandla and private port of Mundra, were completely suspended on Monday in the wake of the approaching cyclone, Tauktae.
While five of the ports on the path of the cyclone hoisted signal number 10, indicating “great danger”, as many as 28 vessels berthed at the ports were asked to leave.
All activities were suspended at ports that had warning signals of 8, 9 and 10.
“Signal number 10 is at five ports of Pipavav, Veraval, Jafrabad, Victor and Diu. This signal means great danger and the cyclone is expected to move over or close to the ports. Similarly, signal 9 indicating severe weather is at Alang, Bhavnagar, Dahej, Magdalla, Bharuch and Daman,” said Avantika Singh, CEO of Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).
Most of the port area has been evacuated, leaving only very essential staff and security personnel on ground. Signal number 8 has also been hoisted at Porbandar, Okha, Sikka, Bedi, Navlakhi, new Kandla, Mandvi and Jakhau ports.
“Till yesterday, there were 28 vessels berthed at the ports in Gujarat. All of them have been asked to shift to high seas where they would be safer. Right now there are no vessels at the ports. Our VTMS (Vessel Tracking and
Monitoring System) is constantly in touch with the vessels and all the control rooms at the ports are active. We are in touch with private ports and captive jetties,” she added.
Apart from this, 60-odd vessels beached at the Alang ship-breaking yard have been secured. “500 workers at the shipbreaking yard have been shifted to the GMB labour colony. Shifting is still in process,” Singh said.
The only major port in Gujarat, Kandla, hoisted warning signal number eight. The Deendayal Port Trust (DPT), which handles operations at Kandla, has evacuated all manpower from the port area. Hanging and high rise structures such as marine unloading arms would be fastened properly or removed.
Mundra port belonging to Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) hoisted signal number 8 and suspended all port operations on Monday.
“We have initiated actions in line with our disaster management plan and SOPs at Dighi, Hazira, Dahej, Mundra and Tuna terminals,” stated an official statement from the Adani Group. Quick Response Teams have also been deployed to handle any emergency, it added.
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