The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said Cyclone Tauktae has intensified into an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’, and is likely to make landfall in Gujarat in the evening hours. Mumbai will see tidal waves upto 3.94 metres high, said IMD.
The Cyclone warning division of the weather department said, the very severe cyclonic storm ‘Tauktae’ (pronounced as Tau’Te) over east central Arabian Sea moved north-north-westwards with a speed of about 20 kmph during the past six hours, intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm.
It is very likely to move north-north-westwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of 17th and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) during the night (20002300 hours IST) of May 17 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph, it added.
As a precautionary measure, around 25,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar. More than 1.5 lakh have been shifted from low-lying areas in the state. The authorities are bracing for very heavy rainfall and winds of up to 190 km per hour. The warnings have been put in place in Junagarh, Gir Somnath and Amreli.
According to the officials, massive damage is expected in Porbandar, Amreli, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Botad and coastal areas of Ahmedabad, including destruction of thatched houses. They have warned of damage to power and communication lines, flooding of roads and disruption to railway lines and signaling systems and standing agricultural crops.
The weather department also predicted that the tidal waves will be up to 3.94 metres high in Mumbai, causing heavy rainfall. If it continues, water logging is likely to occur at several low lying areas in the city, it said. A moderate to intense rainfall in the city as well as Thane, Raigad, Palghar and Ratnagiri districts, is likely as predicted by the IMD.
In the early hours, Mumbai experienced light rainfall and gusty winds. In view of the cyclone, the airport has been shut till 4 pm and the Bandra-Worli sea link is closed. Three NDRF teams are put on alert, and temporary shelters have been set up in each of the 24 wards.
As per the District Collector office in Maharashtra’s Raigad, One killed and two injured due to Cyclone Taukate and 8,383 people have been shifted to a safer place.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the cyclone Tauktae caused gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves along the Karnataka, Kerala and Goa coasts, killing as many as six people. It also forced the evacuation of lakhs from coastal areas, roads, damaged houses, and power lines.