Gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belt of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa as Cyclone Tauktae hurtled northwards towards Gujarat on Sunday, leaving six people dead, damaging hundreds of houses, uprooting electricity poles and trees and forcing evacuation in low-lying areas.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Tauktae which has taken the form of a "very severe cyclonic storm" is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours and reach the Gujarat coast on Monday (May 17) evening.
Strong winds with speed reaching up to 90 km/per were lashing the western coastal region. According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD, by May 18 the wind speed is expected to increase to 150-160 km per hour, gusting up to 175 km per hour.
An estimated 1.5 lakh people are being shifted from low-lying coastal areas in Gujarat while 54 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in the state.
Maharashtra too was bracing for the storm as the Met department predicted heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places in north Konkan, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar and extremely heavy rainfall in Raigad on Monday. The water level in many dams across Kerala was rising after heavy rains in the catchment areas, prompting authorities to sound an alert.
Four deaths were reported from Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga districts and two in Goa in cyclone-related incidents.
Cyclone Tauktae | Updates
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Mansukh Mandaviya today interacted with industry leaders about the likely impact of very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae & preparedness for facing the same, Government informed on Sunday.
Very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae is very likely to intensify further during next 24 hours. It is very likely to move north-northwestwards & reach Gujarat coast in evening of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar & Mahuva (Bhavnagar) around May 18 early morning, IMD said.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected to occur in coastal areas of Gujarat on May 17 & May 18. Extremely heavy rainfall is also expected at some places. At the time of landfall, winds speed is expected to be 155-165 kmph gusting to 145 kmph, IMD DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said.
- The much-feared Cyclone Tauktae finally arrived to lash the Maharashtra coast on Sunday, uprooting scores of trees, and light-poles and causing other minor damage, but there were no reports of any casualties, officials said. The IMD has issued an 'orange alert' for Mumbai and nearby areas for May 17.
Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the preparedness for Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat, Maharashtra and two Union territories on Sunday and "specifically" stressed that all health facilities, including those for COVID-19 treatment, falling in the affected areas should be secured along with the patients.
Stormy winds and heavy rains caused by Cyclone Tauktae claimed two lives and uprooted more than 1,000 trees in Goa, disrupting normal life and road traffic and causing power outage in most parts of the coastal state on Sunday.
"Two people lost their lives because of the cyclone. A woman of around 30-35 years died after a coconut tree fell on her at Mapusa town (in North Goa). Another accident occurred at Marcel where two youth were going on a scooter and an electric pole fell on them and one of them lost his life while he was being rushed to hospital," Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.
Kerala: Waterlogging in several parts of Alappuzha as the rain continues due to #CycloneTauktae. Water enters houses in low-lying areas of Mankombu, Thekkekara, Vejpara & Poovam.
- Light thunderstorm with lightning & surface wind 30- 40 kmph (in gust) accompanied with light to moderate rain is very likely to occur at isolated places in Gujarat's Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Narmada, Tapi, Surat, Bharuch, Dang & Dahod in during next 3 hours.
- We're fully prepared. In all 12 districts of Saurashtra which are likely to be affected by #CycloneTauktae, special arrangements have been made in COVID hospitals -- from materials to manpower. Dual power supply arrangement has been done, said Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel.
- 2000 personnel of Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation have been deployed. Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Ltd has fully prepared itself to restore electricity at the earliest if Cyclone Tauktae causes any damage, Saurabh Patel added.
- BJP president JP Nadda on Sunday interacted with party leaders from coastal states which are likely to be affected by cyclone Tauktae, and said that saffron organisation members will provide all possible help to people. Party MPs, MLAs and office bearers from Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Daman & Diu and Gujarat were part of the virtual meeting with Nadda.
- "It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of 17th (May) and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) around 18th May early morning," the IMD said.
- The IMD has also issued a yellow alert for the coasts of Gujarat and Diu and Daman.
- Winds with speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph are likely to prevail along and off Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman, Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, southern parts of Ahmedabad and Anand districts from the midnight of May 17 and till the morning of May 18.
- A nearly 3-metre-high tidal wave is expected in Junagarh, 1-2.5 metres above astronomical tide is likely to inundate coastal areas of Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Anand, Surat and about 0.5-1 metres over Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Kutch and the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat during the time of landfall, the IMD said.
- According to the weather department, in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district, total destruction of thatched houses, extensive damage to kutcha houses and some damage to pucca houses is expected. There could be a potential threat from flying objects with bending or uprooting of power and communication poles.
- Major damage to kutcha and pucca roads, flooding of escape routes, minor disruption of railways, overhead power lines and signalling systems is expected, the IMD said.
(With PTI, IANS inputs)