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Extremely severe cyclone 'Tauktae' may weaken before crossing Porbandar-Mahua tonight

Vinson Kurian Mumbai/New Delhi | Updated on May 17, 2021

xtremely severe cyclone 'Tauktae' will bring high winds and heavy rainfall along most parts of the West Coast as well as entire Gujarat and adjoining parts of North-West India until Tuesday morning.

Maximum wind speeds of 155-165 km/hr, gusting to 185 km/hr expected during landfall

Very severe cyclone ‘Tauktae’ has intensified into an extremely severe cyclone this (Monday) morning, next only to the class-topping super cyclone status, with gale winds with speeds of 180-190 km/hr, gusting to a potentially catastrophic 210 km/hr, over the East-Central Arabian Sea till at least noon.

But the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the powerful cyclone may weaken as a very severe cyclone while making landfall between 8 pm and 11 pm, earlier than expected, along the Porbandar and Mahuva coasts in West Gujarat tonight (Monday), with maximum sustained wind speeds of 155-165 km/hr, gusting to 185 km/hr.

Phenomenal wind speeds

These are still phenomenal wind speeds and could wreak havoc along the West Gujarat coast, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) update said in the morning. Winds speeding to 80-90 km/hr, gusting to 100 km/hr, may prevail along and off the Maharashtra coast today and gradually decrease thereafter.

A tidal wave may inundate coastal areas as it rises to almost 10 ft above the astronomical tide over Amreli, Gir Somnath, Diu and Bhavnagar; 6.5-10 ft over Bharuch, Anand and south Ahmedabad; 3-6.5 ft over Surat, Navsari and Valsad; and 1.6-3.2 ft over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat at landfall.

 

Rough sea conditions

Sea conditions will be ‘phenomenal’ (wave heights of above 46 ft) over the East-Central and adjoining North-East Arabian Sea till tomorrow (Tuesday) morning; ‘high to very high’ (20-46 ft) along and off the Maharashtra coast until this (Monday) evening; and ‘high’ (20-30 ft) along and off the South Gujarat, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli coasts till noon today, before turning ‘phenomenal’ until tomorrow morning.

Orders have been issued for suspension of fishing operations off the Gujarat, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli coasts till tomorrow noon. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea along and off the Maharashtra-Goa coasts either. Those out at sea over the North Arabian Sea have been advised to return.

‘Red message’ issued to Gujarat, Diu

In a ‘red message’ to the Gujarat and Diu coasts issued this morning, IMD said the extremely severe cyclone lay about 160 km West-South-West of Mumbai; 290 km South-South-East of Veraval; 250 km South-South-East of Diu; and 840 km South-South-East of Karachi in Pakistan.

Very heavy rainfall likely

Heavy to very heavy fall with extremely heavy falls is forecast today over Noth Konkan and isolated heavy tomorrow. In Gujarat, heavy to very heavy falls and extremely heavy falls may lash Saurashtra, Diu and East Gujarat today and tomorrow. Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely over Kutch.

The cyclone remnant is forecast to enter Rajasthan later bringing moderate rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy falls and extremely heavy falls over the southern parts on Tuesday and heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places over the rest of the desert state on Wednesday.

 

Also read: Sesame, pulses in Gujarat may be hit by cyclone ‘Tauktae’

Also read: National Crisis Management Committee meets to take stock of cyclone preparations

 

To reach Gujarat coast tonight

PTI adds: Tauktae, which has now intensified into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm”, is likely to reach Gujarat coast by Monday evening and cross the state coast between 8 pm and 11 pm, the IMD said.

As a precautionary measure, the state administration shifted over one lakh people living in coastal areas of 17 districts to safer places till late Sunday night, and the work resumed on Monday morning, the government said in a release.

According to the State Emergency Operation Centre, in the 24-hour period ending 6 am on Monday, 84 talukas of 21 districts of Gujarat received light rainfall, mainly caused due to the cyclonic disturbances.

Six talukas received over one inch rainfall, it said.

As per the latest bulletin of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), cyclone Tauktae has further intensified into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm”.

“It is very likely to move north-north-westwards and reach the Gujarat coast in the evening hours of (May) 17 and cross the state coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) during the night (2000 hrs-2300 hrs IST) with a maximum sustained wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph,” the IMD said.

The cyclone will cause light to moderate rainfall at many places in the state, heavy to very heavy showers at a few places, and extremely heavy downpour at isolated places over southern districts of Saurashtra, Diu and Gujarat region on Monday and Tuesday, the IMD said.

The sea conditions will remain “phenomenal” till Tuesday morning before improving, it said.

The state government, in a release, said over one lakh people were shifted to safer temporary shelters from 655 vulnerable villages in 17 districts till late Monday night.

A number of teams of departments like forest, roads and buildings, health, revenue and electricity have been deployed to immediately address the damage caused due to the cyclone, it said.

Besides, 41 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have also been deployed along with 10 teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). Three teams of the NDRF have been kept in reserve, the release said.

Special arrangements have been made in hospitals treating Covid-19 patients to ensure electricity back-up in case of power outage due to the cyclone.

Arrangements have also been made for 161 ICU ambulances and 576 ambulances of ‘108’ service to shift patients in case of emergency, it said.

The state government has also created 35 green corridors for easy transportation of medical oxygen for the needy patients across Gujarat.

De-watering pumps have also been set up in low-lying areas to clear flooding.

Local administrations have removed 2,126 hoardings in urban areas and 643 in rural areas as well as 668 temporary structures, to avoid any threat caused by them to people’s lives, the government said.

Published on May 17, 2021

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