India’s west coast hunkers down as Cyclone Vayu approaches

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India’s west coast hunkers down as Cyclone Vayu approaches
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A waves crashes as people stand on boats on the Arabian Sea coast in Veraval, Gujarat, India, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Indian authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people on Wednesday as a severe cyclone in the Arabian Sea approached the westerThe Associated Press
A waves crashes as people stand on boats on the Arabian Sea coast in Veraval, Gujarat, India, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Indian authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people on Wednesday as a severe cyclone in the Arabian Sea approached the western state of Gujarat, lashing the coast with high winds and heavy rainfall. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Authorities have evacuated nearly 300,000 people from India’s western coastline ahead of a very severe cyclone that’s expected to make landfall as the year’s second major storm.

The India Meteorological Department says Cyclone Vayu, named after the Hindi word for wind, could glance the western state of Gujarat Thursday afternoon before returning to sea.

In Veraval, a hub of India’s fishing industry where Vayu was expected to touch down, heavy wind and rain battered the beaches early Thursday. Fishing boats were splintered by huge waves crashing onto shore. Local police tried to convince hut dwellers to leave their homes.

Gale winds up to 180 kilometers (112 miles) per hour and rough sea conditions could last up to 12 hours in the cyclone’s wake as it moves west toward Pakistan.

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