Gujarat’s Somnath temple, located at the Arabian Sea beach, remained open even when Cyclone Vayu was expected to a make landfall here.
When the state was preparing for the worst and evacuated over 3 lakh people, a minister firmly refused to shut the temple.
Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma said the temple would remain open as "aarti (prayers) being performed since many years cannot be stopped".
“This is a natural calamity. Only nature can stop it (Cyclone Vayu). Who are we to stop nature? We have requested tourists not to visit, but the aarti (prayers) being performed since many years can't be stopped," news agency ANI quoted Chudasma, as saying.
Gujarat Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on Somnath Temple remains open despite alert issued in view of #CycloneVayu: Ye kudrati aafat hai, kudrat hi rok sakti hai, to kudrat ko hum kya rokein (this is a natural disaster, only nature can stop it, who are we to stop nature). pic.twitter.com/DvUZRlUChw— ANI (@ANI) June 13, 2019
Although the cyclone has changed its course, the area remains on high alert and the entire region has been evacuated. The Somnath temple was also hit by strong, dusty winds yesterday as the cyclonic storm was approaching.
Photos from early morning showed rain and wind damaging the sheds at the Somnath temple and devotees entering the premises ignoring the heavy rain.
Skymet Weather stated that the ‘Very Severe Cyclone' may weaken into a Category 1 Cyclonic Storm from Category 2, though the wind speed will be 135 km per hour to 145 km per hour gusting up to 175 km per hour.