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Gujarat, India on alert as Cyclone Vayu track changes

Thursday, June 13th 2019, 5:58 pm - Nearly 300,000 people were evacuated in preparation for the storm

Tropical Cyclone Vayu tracked near the northwest coaast of India on Thursday and had sustained winds between 133 km/h and 145 km/h.

Approximately 300,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm, which was threatening heavy rain and flooding that could damage homes and flood major roadways. Gujarat's state government said it moved potentially impacted residents from the most vulnerable areas into shelters.

Officials will continue to remain on high alert until Friday night and India's Airport Authority has announced that five airports in the Gujarat region will resume operations on Thursday night.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) prepared nearly 40 teams with boating equipment and tree-cutters, and the Indian Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force units were put on standby.

Elsewhere in the country over 500 million people, which is nearly half of the nation's population, are facing drought-like conditions due to deficient pre-monsoon rainfall.

In May, Cyclone Fani, the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane, killed at least 34 people on India's eastern coast, destroying houses and ripping off roofs. At the time, authorities had evacuated more than 1.2 million people in advance of the storm.

SEE ALSO: Cyclone Fani the strongest storm to hit India in five years

With files from Reuters

WATCH BELOW: WHIRLPOOL CAUGHT ON CAMERA DURING CYCLONE EVENT

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