VERAVAL, India (AP) — The Latest on Cyclone Vayu (all times local):
Authorities say a very severe cyclone appears to have changed course and is less likely to touch India’s western coast than was previously forecast.
The India Meteorological Department says Cyclone Vayu has jogged west away from the shoreline of Gujarat state as it travels northwest toward Pakistan.
Fearing a dangerous impact, rescue workers had evacuated nearly 300,000 people from the state in western India.
Coastal areas in Gujarat have experienced heavy wind and rain, with huge waves splintering abandoned fishing boats.
Authorities in Pakistan said the southern port city of Karachi could experience a heat wave and dust storms because of the cyclone even as it remained far from the coast.
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.