Cyclone ‘TAUKTAE’ likely to move North-North Westwards and cross Gujarat coast

New Delhi, The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Tauktae over east central Arabian Sea moving with a speed of about 20 kilometres per hour has intensified into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm. The Cyclone is centred over east central Arabian Sea about 160 km from Mumbai & 290 km from Veraval in Gujarat.

According to the National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Tauktae is very likely to reach Gujarat coast this evening. The Met Department has said that the cyclone is very likely to cross between Porbandar & Mahuva in Bhavnagar district tonight as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed gusting up to 185 kilometres per hour.

Forecast regarding moderate to very heavy rainfall has been made for coastal areas in Maharashtra & Gujarat and central and south districts of Rajasthan.

IMD has issued warnings regarding complete suspension of fishing operations over east central Arabian Sea, northeast Arabian Sea and along & off Gujarat, Daman, Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli coasts till tomorrow noon. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into east central Arabian Sea along & off Maharashtra – Goa coasts and into northeast Arabian Sea along & off Gujarat, Daman, Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli coast till tomorrow. Those who are out at Sea over north Arabian Sea have been advised to return to the coast.

The very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae which lay centered in the east-central Arabian Sea has intensified into extremely severe cyclonic storm. It may cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district tonight. The very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae is about 160 kilometer west southwest of Mumbai, 290 kilometer south southeast of Veraval and 250 kilometer south southeast of Diu at 5.30 hours this morning.

According to the latest bulletin of IMD, the very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae is likely to move north- northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours today and may cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva from 8 pm to 11pm today. The very severe cyclonic storm will cross Gujarat coast with a maximum sustained wind speed of 155 to 165 kilometers per hour gusting up to 185 kilometers per hour.

The Met office has predicted light to moderate rain at many places in Saurashtra and South Gujarat with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places from today evening. Squally wind speed reaching 40 to 50 kilometers per hour is likely over north east Arabian sea and along and off South Gujarat and Daman and Diu coast from today, which will gradually increase becoming gale wind speed reaching 155 to 165 kilometers per hour gusting to 185 kilometers per hour over northeast Arabian sea and along and off Gujarat coast. Tidal waves above the astronomical tide are likely to inundate coastal areas in Saurashtra.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani reviewed the final preparedness of the state in a high level meeting this morning. More than one lakh people have been shifted to safer places following the threat of Cyclonic storm Tauktae. The shifting of the people from 655 villages of 17 districts is  still going on.

388 health teams and 319 teams of revenue officials have been deployed to launch the immediate relief work in the areas likely to be hit by Cyclone Tauktae. 161 ICU ambulances and 576 Emergency 108 ambulances have been kept as standby for any eventuality. 35 green corridors have been set up for smooth transportation and supply of Oxygen for the COVID patients. 10 teams of State disaster relief force along with 44 teams of NDRF already deployed in the coastal districts of Saurashtra and South Gujarat. Control rooms have been set up at the district level.

In Maharashtra, heavy rainfall is being witnessed in Mumbai due to the extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae. Reports of water-logging are coming in from the low lying areas of Worli, Andheri, Shivaji Park and Pedder Road. The BMC has instructed assistant commissioners of all the 24 wards to be fully prepared to face any eventuality.

Meanwhile, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) said that flight operations will remain closed till 4 pm today.

AIR correspondent reports that, the CSMIA said, a SpiceJet flight was diverted to Surat, another Indigo flight was asked to return to Lucknow and an Indigo flight was diverted to Hyderabad. On the other hand, the Mumbai civic body has deployed 93 life guards on all the beaches in and around the city. Besides, even the fire brigade personnel at seven stations in the city have been asked to be on their toes.

As a precautionary measure, as many as 581 COVID patients from Dahisar, Mulund and BKC have been shifted to safer places. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reviewed the situation arising out of the extremely severe cyclonic storm Taukte. The disaster management authority informed that over 12 thousand people from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Raigad districts have been evacuated and shifted to safer places. Meanwhile at Uran in Raigad, a woman lost her life after the house wall fell on her.

The Indian Navy today said that it has not received a request for immediate help from the civil administration in Mumbai till now. The Navy has Flood Rescue Teams ready for deployment at each of the Naval Establishments in Colaba, Worli, Ghatkopar, Mankhurd and Malad for immediate assistance in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, the IMD has sounded red warning for Raigad district as it will receive extremely heavy rainfall.  Houses were damaged, trees and electric poles were uprooted at many places.

Due to disruption in the power supply, various places in Raigad including famous tourists spots of Alibaug, Murud, Mahad and Roha are in dark.

Till now, 8,360 people have been shifted to safe locations. Despite huge loss to property there are no reports of any loss of life.