IANS

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the Indian Armed Forces are prepared to provide any assistance in tackling Cyclone Biparjoy.

"I spoke to all three service chiefs and reviewed the preparedness of the armed forces for the landfall of Cyclone Biparjoy," the Defence Minister said.

He said that the armed forces are ready to provide every possible assistance to the civil authorities in tackling any situation or contingency due to the cyclone.

On Tuesday, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) had evacuated 50 staff of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) in Okha, Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has said that it was prepared to tackle Cyclone Biparjoy, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on Thursday.

"NDRF has deployed 18 teams and 13 SDRF teams. The cyclone is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on the evening of June 15. More than 45,000 people have been evacuated to safe places. We are prepared for all the challenges after the landfall," said DG NDRF Atul Karwal.

The DG said that there are possibilities of significant water-logging in the nearby eight districts, and we are ready to provide our services in case of need.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that Biparjoy has turned from extreme to a 'very severe' cyclonic storm and will cross the Jakhau Port in Gujarat by Thursday evening, although an 'orange' alert is still in effect for the state's Saurashtra and Kutch coasts.

Western Railways has also decided to cancel at least 67 trains passing through the cyclone-prone areas as a precautionary measure.

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