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Sunday, December 08, 2019

Cyclone Vayu: Ports come to a standstill, 1600 shifted from Alang, Chara port

The GMB has already suspended the arrival of vessels at Gujarat ports till June 14. The Ro-PAX vessel, which was suspended on Tuesday night, has been secured with double moorings at Dahej. Similarly, the ferry service between Okha and Beyt Dwarka has also been suspended.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: June 13, 2019 7:53:45 am
Somnath beach has been shut for visitors for three days in the wake of cyclonic storm, Vayu, even as strong winds have already started causing damage on the beach. (Javed Raja)

In the wake of the approaching cyclone Vayu, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has suspended all shipping activities across the Gulf of Khambhat and shifted over 1,600 workers, including those at the Alang shipbreaking yard and the Chara port. The RO-PAX ferry service, between Dahej and Gogha, located across the Gulf of Khambhat was also suspended, sources said on Wednesday.

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“All cargo movements and shipping activities have been suspended in the Gulf of Khambhat. Ports in the Gulf of Kutch will suspend operations from Wednesday evening,” Mukesh Kumar, Vice-Chairman of GMB said. Officials of APM Terminals, which operate the Pipavav port, said that the “entire port operations have been suspended for 48 hours from the midnight of June 11.”

READ | Have to safeguard our boats, belongings: Veraval fishermen reluctant to leave 

The GMB has already suspended the arrival of vessels at Gujarat ports till June 14. The Ro-PAX vessel, which was suspended on Tuesday night, has been secured with double moorings at Dahej. Similarly, the ferry service between Okha and Beyt Dwarka has also been suspended.

At the Alang shipbreaking yard, over 1,000 workers have been shifted to GMB’s training institute and housing complex. Presently, there are 80 vessels at Alang which are being secured with double-wires. Five ships to be beached at Alang at its outer anchorage are waiting with their engines on stand-by.

Fishermen pull boats away from the seashore in Veralval on Wednesday. (Javed Raja)

At Jafrabad, 600 workers have been shifted from the ongoing port development work at the waterfront of Swan Energy’s floating storage regassification unit and Chara port to a safe location in Rajula. Merchant vessel MV Aker and five crew members have been brought ashore at Jafrabad.

At Porbandar, the high speed crafts of Navy and Coast Guard are being moved to a shelter at Okha port. At Dahej port, Petronet LNG vessel is expected to sail out, along with a chemical vessel belonging to Reliance, officials added.

READ | Fear, distress as people shift to relief shelters leaving their homes, animals

Reliance Industries, which has a number of assets in Jamnagar, said that “all precautionary and safety measures have been taken at the refinery complex of RIL.” In the Sikka group of ports in the Gulf of Kutch, the Reliance SBM jetty will be vacated on Wednesday evening. 22 ships have already sailed out and seven others are at the outer anchorage. Additionally, 36 small crafts will be secured at the RoRo jetty.

A spokesperson of the Adani Group, which operates four ports in Gujarat (including the biggest at Mundra), said, “Our Mundra and Tuna ports will be closest to the path of the cyclone. A disaster management plan has been put into action.” The company said that its ports at Dahej and Hazira were expected to experience strong winds and rain.

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