As the India Meteorological Department issued a warning that Vayu has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm as it is nearing the Gujarat coast, the Western Railways on Wednesday announced the cancellation of 70 mainline trains and the short termination of 28 other trains.

In order to ensure the safety and security of passengers in the cyclone-prone areas, the Western Railway has also decided to run evacuation trains to ferry people from the affected areas.

“Considering the alertness for Cyclone Vayu over Gujarat, the Western Railway has decided to fully cancel operation of 70 mainline trains, while 28 other mainline trains will be short terminated with partial cancellation as a precautionary measure in the cyclone-prone areas.

“In addition to this, various safety and security precautions are also being taken by the Western Railway for train passengers of these prone areas under the jurisdiction of WR — Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham,” the railways said in the latest bulletin.

Veraval-Amreli Passenger, Amreli-Junagadh, Delvada-Veraval are some of the trains that have been cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Western Railway has also decided to run relief special trains. Two such evacuation special trains are scheduled to be run in Rajkot division and one in Bhavnagar division to clear passengers of coastal area affected by the cyclone.

The first special train ran from Okha at 6 pm on Wednesday for Rajkot with 11 coaches and the second special train with 20 coaches will run from Okha to Ahmedabad at 8.05 pm.

The third special train will run from Veraval to Ahmedabad with 11 coaches at 8 pm Wednesday.

The state government has launched a massive evacuation exercise to shift about three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions.

The cyclone is expected to hit the Gujarat coast on Thursday morning, but several parts along the Maharashtra and Goa coast have been witnessing strong winds and rains.

With Inputs From PTI