Gujarat ports shut ahead of Cyclone Tauktae landfall

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on May 17, 2021

Fishermen pull a fishing boat onto the shore at Veraval coast in Veraval, Gujarat on Monday   -  Vijay Soneji

IMD flags signal no 10 for five ports indicating “great danger”

Met Department on Monday afternoon issued port warning for Gujarat State with signal no 10 for five of the ports along Saurashtra coast indicating great danger following the Cyclone Tauktae, categorised as Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm, set to make a landfall between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) during 8-11 pm.

The five ports with highest warning level include Diu, Veraval in Junagadh district and Jafrabad, Pipavav and Victor ports in Amreli district.

Speaking to Businessline, Amreli District Collector Aayush Sanjeev Oak informed that all ports were under precautionary shutdown as per the Standard Operating Procedures for such cyclone events.

“We are also evacuating people from 0-5 kms area from the seashore. About 15,000 people were shifted from Rajula and Jafrabad taluks. Because of Covid-19 pandemic people are reluctant to move to shelters and have shifted to their relatives’ places. We still have about 3,500 people in our cyclone shelters created at schools. All Covid-19 protocols are followed in these shelters,” he said adding that patients on oxygen support have been shifted to safer hospitals.

Amreli also has a private jetty by UltraTech Cements, which has also shut all its operations including at the plants in the district.

The State government has asked all ports — State-owned and private ports - to shut operations and asked berthed vessels to move to high seas. This includes Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone at Mundra port in Kutch and APM Terminals at Pipavav Port in Saurashtra coast and Hazira and Dahej along the South Gujarat Coast. Pipavav is nearest to the expected landfall of the cyclone. The rail and road operations at Pipavav port have been suspended from 10 pm on Monday and is likely to resume from Tuesday subject to safe working weather.

In a statement, APSEZ said, “We have initiated all actions in line with our Disaster Management Plan and SOPs thereof at Dighi, Hazira, Dahej, Mundra, and Tuna terminal. Quick Response Teams (QRT) are deployed.”

A spokesperson of Essar Group, which operates port and jetty in Gujarat said, “All the equipment at Jetty and Shore are lashed for cyclonic conditions. Additionally, our emergency response team is in place, if needed.”

Gujarat government’s Additional Chief Secretary for Revenue, Pankaj Kumar stated that all preparations to tackle cyclone impact were completed. The State government has shifted over 1.5 lakh people to safer places. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani informed that the State government is working to ensure Zero Casualty. All necessary help is being provided by the Central Government continuously. Teams of National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force and Army were deployed in the likely affected areas for faster rescue and relief work.

IMD in its evening weather bulletin on Monday informed that the Cyclone Tauktae was moving towards Gujarat Coast at 17 kmph with wind intensity of 170-180 kmph near the centre of the cyclone.

“Tidal wave above astronomical tide is likely to inundate coastal areas. Anand, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Diu and Bhavnagar districts may see tidal waves of 3-4 meters. Parts of Gujarat will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 12 hours.

Published on May 17, 2021

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