Mumbai, May 17
Mumbai’s Western coastal states Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala witnessed heavy rain on Saturday and small hours of Sunday as Cyclone Tauktae made its way toward Gujarat.
On Saturday night, the storm was around 220 km south- southwest of Panaji and 590 km south-southwest of Mumbai, resulting in heavy rainfall, gusty winds and thunderstorms in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.
Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation moved shifted 580 patients from Covid care centres in the city after the Indian Meteorological Department warned that the cyclone is likely to pass close to the city.
The IMD said on Sunday that Cyclone Tauktae intensified into a “very severe cyclonic storm” over Eastcentral Arabian Sea and is very likely to intensify further during the next 12 hours.
It 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.
The IMD said: “The Severe Cyclonic Storm Tauktae over eastcentral Arabian Sea moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 09 kmph during past 06 hours, intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and lay centred at 0230 hours IST of today, May 16, 2021, over eastcentral Arabian Sea near latitude 14.7°N and longitude 72.7°E, about 150 km southwest of Panjim-Goa, 490 km south of Mumbai, 730 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 870 km south-southeast of Karachi (Pakistan)”.
“It is very likely to intensify further during next 12 hours. It is very likely to move northnorthwestwards 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.”
The IMD has issued a warning for fishermen near coastal areas. There is a total suspension of fishing operations over eastcentral and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea and along and off Kerala-Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra coasts. Total suspension of fishing operations over northeast Arabian Sea and along and off Gujarat coast from May 17.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting here on Saturday to review the preparedness of states and central agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone ‘Tauktae’.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has kept 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters operation ready in peninsular India as a preparation for the Cyclone Tauktae.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials have also assured on Friday that they are well prepared for Cyclone Tauktae and 53 teams have been committed, 24 teams pre-deployed, and 29 teams are on standby ready for the 5 most vulnerable states—Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.— Agencies