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Cyclone 'Tauktae' to rapidly intensify as severe cyclone

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 15, 2021

Heavy rain lash North Kerala, Coastal Karnataka

The Arabian Sea has spun up cyclone ‘Tauktae’ (pronounced as Tau’Te) forming over Lakshadweep area and adjoining South-East and East-Central Arabian Sea in the small hours of today (Saturday), much earlier than initially predicted, is forecast to intensify as a severe cyclone by tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

 

‘Tauktae’ was located over East-Central and adjoining South-East Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep area past 120 km North-North-West of Amini Divi; 300 km West-North-West of Kannur (Kerala); and 990 km away to the South-South-East of Veraval (Gujarat) where it is expected to reach by Tuesday morning.

May weaken off Gujarat coast

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has indicated that ‘Tauktae’ will become a very severe cyclone at its peak but might wind down a bit before approaching the West Gujarat coast due to comparably cooler waters near the coast and proximity to land features.

A few global models suggest that it may skirt the West Gujarat coast and plough into the South-East Pakistan coast around Karachi for a landfall. The weakened system drift around to East-North-East into Nawabshah and Sukkur before heading across the into India to enter the Barmer-Jaisalmer-Bikaner stretch in West Rajasthan.

Red alert in Kerala districts

This (Saturday) morning, a red alert has been declared in Kerala in the northern districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayand, Kannur and Kasaragod while the next lower level of orange alert was valid in seven districts and a yellow alert in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad.

Latest reports suggested that some areas in the landslide-prone Idukki district that houses an eponymous arch dam, largest in the state, has received very heavy to extremely heavy rain. Shutters of smaller Kallarkutti and Malankara dams have been opened. Widespread damage from heavy rain and fierce winds are being reported.

NDRF teams deployed

The National Disaster Response Force, whose teams reached the state in advance and are deployed at vulnerable areas, has swung into action and is leading relief operations in Idukki, agency reports said.

Widespread sea erosion has been reported along the length of the state’s coast for last few.

Meanwhile, real-time European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts updates on Saturday morning suggested that the core of the cyclone has reached West of Karwar in Coastal Karnataka, blasting the coast North from Mangaluru to Panaji with high winds and heavy rain. The ghats area in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Kozhikode and Thalassery in Kerala too are getting a severe thrashing concurrently.

Published on May 15, 2021

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