Cyclone Tauktae likely to reach Gujarat coast this evening; Red alert issued for Gujarat, Diu coasts

New Delhi : Issuing a Red alert for Gujarat and Diu coasts, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said that the “Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Tauktae” is very likely to reach Gujarat coast today evening and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) during the night (2000 2300 hrs IST) with a maximum sustained wind speed 155-165 kmph gusting to 185.

According to IMD latest information, the cyclone over eastcentral Arabian Sea moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 15 kmph during past six hours, and lay centred at 0830 hours today over eastcentral Arabian Sea near latitude 18.8°N and longitude 71.5°E, about 150 km west of Mumbai, 220 km south-southeast of Diu, 260 km southeast of Veraval (Gujarat), and 490 km east-southeast of Karachi (Pakistan).

Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected to occur in coastal areas of Gujarat on May 17 and May 18. Extremely heavy rainfall is also expected at some places. At the time of landfall, winds speed is expected to be 155-165 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.

The national weather Department has also predicted heavy rainfall likely in coastal parts of Gujarat in districts of Saurashtra namely Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagadh and in Diu; in the districts of Gujarat region namely Valsad, Navsari and in Union Territory of Daman, Dadra Nagar Haveli while sate administration has issued alert for 16 districts.

The Maharashtra Government has made adequate arrangements to deal with this situation and people from the low coast areas have been evacuated and deployed NDRF teams there.

Mumbai has been reeling under heavy rain with a wind speed up to 80 kmph and in view of the high speed winds, the Bandra-Worli sea-link was closed for traffic and people were asked to take alternate routes Western Railway has cancelled over 50 trains and the local trains services of the Central Railway were disrupted between suburban Ghatkopar and Vikhroli as a tree branch fell on a train heading towards neighbouring Thane.

An estimated 1.5 lakh people are being shifted from low-lying coastal areas in Gujarat while 54 teams of the NDRF and SDRF remained deployed on Sunday in view of the IMD’s warning that the very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae will reach the state coast on Monday evening and cross it on early Tuesday morning.

On May 16, Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the preparedness for Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat, Maharashtra and two Union territories on Sunday and “specifically” stressed that all health facilities, including those for COVID-19 treatment, falling in the affected areas should be secured along with the patients

“With the cyclone likely to affect power supply, hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have been asked to ensure power back-up. Arrangements have also been made to ensure uninterrupted generation of medical oxygen in the eight manufacturing units and buffer stock is also created,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.

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