Cyclone Tauktae (pronounced as Tau’Te) has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm and has moved northwards towards the Gujarat coast on Monday May 17. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin at 8.15 am on May 17 that the cyclone has moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 20 kmph in the past six hours and will cross Gujarat late at night on May 17, as a very severe cyclonic storm.
“Tauktae lay centred at 0530 hours IST of 17th May, 2021 over eastcentral Arabian Sea near latitude 18.5°N and longitude 71.5°E, about 160 km west-southwest of Mumbai, 290 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat), 250 km south-southeast of Diu and 840 km south-southeast of Karachi (Pakistan),” the IMD said.
“It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of 17th and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar & Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) during the night (2000 – 2300 hrs IST) of 17th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph,” the IMD said.
In view of the cyclone, the IMD has issued a red warning for Gujarat coasts and also for areas in the Union territory Daman and Diu. The IMD has predicted that Konkan and adjoining Madhya Maharashtra will receive light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls and extremely heavy falls at isolated places on May 17 and there will be isolated heavy rainfall over north Konkan on May 18.
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm “Tauktae” over Eastcentral Arabian Sea intensified into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm: Cyclone Warning & post landfall outlook for Gujarat & Diu coasts (Red message).https://t.co/nIG8rzj9Vh pic.twitter.com/DAJCsnuRVw— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 17, 2021
In Gujarat, light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy falls has been predicted at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places are very likely over southern districts of Saurashtra, Diu and Gujarat region on May 17 and 18. Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is also likely over Kutch during the same period.
In Rajasthan, IMD has predicted light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy falls and extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over south Rajasthan on May 18, while heavy to very heavy falls have been predicted at isolated places over Rajasthan on May 19.
Around 1.5 lakh people are being shifted from low- lying coastal areas in Gujarat while 54 teams of the NDRF and SDRF remained deployed after IMD's warning that Tauktae will reach the state coast on Monday evening and cross it Tuesday morning.
Skymet, a private company that provides weather forecast and solutions said landfall is likely between Gujarat's Mahuva and Porbandar areas and close to Diu. "A swathe of 100 km on either side of the anticipated strike always remains vulnerable," it said.
Gujarat additional chief secretary Pankaj Kumar said 25,000 people have already been moved to safer places.
In Mumbai, five temporary shelters each have been put up in 24 civic wards of the metropolis so that citizens can be shifted there if necessary. The IMD has issued an orange alert for Mumbai warning of very heavy rains at isolated places with strong winds on Monday as Tauktae is likely to pass close to the Mumbai coast. Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) stationed in the western suburbs of Mumbai have been put on alert. Teams of the Indian Navy are also kept on standby, officials said.
Meanwhile, in Jalgaon in north Maharashtra, two persons died and another was injured after a tree fells on a hut, an official said. It wasn't clear if the incident was directly related to the severity of the cyclonic storm.
With PTI inputs