Cyclone Tauktae Hammers West Coast: Everything you should know
Severe cyclonic storm Tauktae intensified overnight into a “very severe cyclonic storm” over the east-central Arabian Sea, the weather office said this morning. It is very likely to intensify further and reach the Gujarat coast in the evening of May 17. It is expected to make landfall the next morning between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district, it added.
The weather office said wind with speeds reaching 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmph, along and off Maharashtra and Goa coasts are expected today and tomorrow. “Tidal wave of about 2-3 metres above astronomical tide is likely to inundate coastal areas of Morbi, Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar district, and 1-2 metres along Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, and 0.5-1 metre over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat,” it added.
Cyclone Tauktae has triggered heavy rainfall in some parts of Maharashtra and other states on the west coast. Gusty winds and heavy rains hit several parts of Goa on Sunday morning, uprooting electric poles, affecting power supply, damaging houses and killing at least two people. The weather office has predicted light to moderate rain in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Narmada, Tapi, Surat, Bharuch, Dang and Dahod districts. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at isolated areas in Gujarat tomorrow.
In Maharashtra, coastal areas are on high alert. Covid patients undergoing treatment at dedicated facilities in coastal areas are being relocated. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office tweeted that the government would ensure uninterrupted power and oxygen is supplied in hospitals. Police and other officials have been deployed to deal with the cyclone. “Patients will not face gaps in the treatment,” it said.
The Gujarat government said it would evacuate more than 1 lakh people to safe locations. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has asked officials to ensure that electricity supply to COVID-19 hospitals and other medical facilities are not disrupted while oxygen supply is maintained, news agency Reuters reported.
The National Crisis Management Committee, led by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, on Sunday reviewed the preparedness of state governments and the central ministries in dealing with the Cyclone Tauktae fallout. They said 79 relief teams have been deployed to tackle the cyclone. Rescue and relief teams of the Army, Navy and Coast Guard, along with ships and aircraft, have also been deployed to deal with emergencies. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also chaired a review meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Administrators of Daman and Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, to assess their preparedness.
According to National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) head SN Pradhan, the strength of NDRF teams has been increased to 101 in all affected coastal districts. 65 NDRF teams have been pre-deployed as of now. 10 quick response medical teams and 5 public health response teams with emergency medicines have also been deployed.