The severe cyclonic storm ‘Tauktae’ over the east-central Arabian Sea moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 9kmph during the past six hours and intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm. It lay centered over the east-central Arabian Sea, about 150km southwest of Panaji, Goa. The India Meteorological Department said that it is very likely to intensify further during the next 12 hours. The cyclonic storm is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) around May 18 early morning.
Thousands of people – including Covid patients – in Gujarat and Maharashtra are being evacuated to safe locations because of Cyclone Tauktae, which will reach the Gujarat coast on Monday evening, unleashing winds with speed up to 175 km/hour.
The weather office said wind with speeds reaching 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 Kmph, along with and off Maharashtra and Goa coasts are expected today and tomorrow. “Tidal wave of about 2-3 meters above astronomical tide is likely to inundate coastal areas of Morbi, Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar district, and 1-2 meters along Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, and 0.5-1 meter over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat,” it added
Cyclone Tauktae has triggered heavy rainfall in some parts of Maharashtra and other states on the west coast. Gusty winds and heavy rains hit several parts of Goa on Sunday morning, uprooting electric poles and affecting the power supply. The weather office has predicted light to moderate rain in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Narmada, Tapi, Surat, Bharuch, Dang, and Dahod districts.
In Goa, two people have died so far due to Cyclone Tauktae. In one incident, a huge tree fell on a person, and in the other, an electric pole fell on a biker. The toll may increase, said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday.
More than 100 houses have been damaged badly and another 100 have received minor damage. Over 500 trees have fallen down.
At present, most of Goa does not have electricity and many roads are blocked, Goa airport has been closed. The CM said it will take two days to restore things. Heavy rains and high winds are expected to continue in the state till May 17.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has increased the number of teams earmarked to undertake relief and rescue measures in the wake of impending Cyclone Tauktae. The NDRF has formed 100 teams and they are being deployed in the coastal regions of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the preparedness and asked states, central ministries, and agencies concerned to make sure that people are safely evacuated.