Tauktae turning into a fierce storm, likely to reach Gujarat this evening

Tauktae turning into a fierce storm, likely to reach Gujarat this evening


urricane Tauktae, which runs north along the west coast of India, is likely to reach Gujarat on Monday evening, crossing the coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar region) late at night. India's Department of Meteorology (IMD) said on Monday morning that Tauktae had intensified its "severe hurricane" with a wind speed of 180 to 190 kmph to 210 kmph.

More than 150,000 people are expected to be evacuated from the coastal regions of Gujarat, where the ongoing roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine will be suspended on Monday and Tuesday, the government said. The IMD has warned of flash floods up to three meters (9.8 feet) in some coastal regions. There is a complete suspension of fishing activities over the eastern and central and south-eastern Arabian seas along the coast and in Kerala-Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra. The Gujarat government has also banned fishing activities from May 17.

Union Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a review meeting with Gujarat's top ministers, Maharashtra and Daman and Diu’s chief and Dadra Nagar Haveli to assess the situation of states and central departments to deal with the situation from Hurricane Tauktae. Rescue and relief teams from the military, navy , and coast guard, as well as ships and aircraft have been deployed. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has retained 16 transport planes and 18 helicopters ready for the storm.

The centre and the state government have ordered the removal of thousands of people from lower levels. So far, the storm has killed six people - two in Goa and four in Karnataka. The west coast trains have been cancelled and few of them have changed their route, and disruptions are expected to continue until May 21st. Three National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) factions west of Mumbai have been warned. Indian Navy units were also kept stationary, officials said.

Light rains and strong winds hit Mumbai on Monday morning as Tauktae crossed Maharashtra. IMD predicted moderate to heavy rainfall in remote areas of Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar and Ratnagiri. Last month in May, more than 110 people were killed after the "super typhoon" Amphan devastated eastern India and Bangladesh, ravaged villages, destroyed farms, and left millions without electricity.