Travel warnings issued as Cyclone Vayu rolls towards India
The cyclone is expected to hit the Gujarat coast tomorrow with winds of up to 170kph
India is bracing for its second major storm of the year as tropical cyclone Vayu builds off the northwest Indian coast.
The storm is expected to make landfall in the next 24 hours with wind speeds in excess of 170 kilometres per hour.
Hitting the subcontinent one month after Storm Fani ravaged the east coast, Vayu – which is named after the Hindu word for wind – could become the most ferocious storm to roll over India in decades.
Almost 300,000 people have been evacuated and schools and colleges have closed and will remain so until until Friday.
According to India's Press Information Bureau Twitter account, tourists in Gujarat have been told to leave the area and anyone planning to visit in the coming days has been advised to postpone travel.
Some flights to and from Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru have been cancelled or delayed.
Flights in and out of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai are also facing disruption thanks to poor visibility in Mumbai.
Airlines affected include Vistara, United Airlines, Spice Jet, Air Asia and Indigo. At the time of writing, all flights between the UAE and India remain unaffected but travellers are advised to check airlines' social media pages for any updates as the cyclone builds strength.
Some flights have also been disrupted from Bengaluru to Pune, Goa and Ahmedabad.
The UK has issued a travel warning for the cyclone, advising travellers to monitor weather updates from the Indian Meteorological Department.
The cyclone comes one month after Storm Fani battered the Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal. More than one million people were evacuated ahead of the tropical storm and dozens were killed.
Updated: June 12, 2019 03:23 PM