Mumbai: Cyclone Tauktae will intensify further, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said, as the ‘very severe’ storm moved towards Gujarat, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Tauktae — Myanmarese for ‘gecko’ is estimated to impact with wind speeds of 155-165 kmph, gusting up to 185 kmph further, according to weather department.
In its update posted late night Sunday, the weather department stated that very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae is very likely to intensify further in next 24 hours. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected to hit coastal areas of Gujarat on May 17 and May 18. Before it hits Gujarat, take a look how this severe cyclonic storm created havoc in other states
Stormy winds and heavy rains created by Cyclone Tauktae claimed two lives and uprooted more than 1,000 trees in Goa, destroying normal life and road traffic and causing power suspension in most parts of the coastal state on Sunday.
Goa CM Pramod Sawant during media briefing on Sunday said, “Two people lost their lives because of the cyclone. A woman of around 30-35 years died after a coconut tree fell on her at Mapusa town (in North Goa). Another accident occurred at Marcel where two youth were going on a scooter and an electric pole fell on them and one of them lost his life while he was being rushed to hospital,” He added that multiple roads in the coastal state faced blockages due to debris.
The much-feared Tauktae arrived on Sunday to lash the Maharashtra coast, uprooting number of trees, and electricity-poles and causing other minor damage. Also, two people lost their lives amid the cyclone in Jalgaon.
The cyclone targeted the coastal districts of the state including Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri as it moved towards Raigad, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar while rotating towards the Gujarat south coast where it is expected to make a landfall on Monday, the IMD said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday held a series of meetings with top officials to monitor the cyclone situation and also informed Union Home Minister Amit Shah of the state's preparedness. "All the districts in the entire coastal belt have been put on a high alert," Thackeray informed Shah. Relief & Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar stated that the Konkan coast has been prepared for the assault of Cyclone Taukte and he was also a close eye on the situation.
In Mumbai, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has suspended the scheduled 3-day vaccination drive starting Monday and the schedule has now been pushed ahead by a day, said Municipal Commissioner IS Chahal.
In a precautionary measure, the Indian Coast Guard marked the safe return of around 5,600 boats which had gone for fishing in the Arabian Seas besides re-routing 335 merchant ships in the surroundings of the cyclone path.
Six persons lost their lives in separate incidents across coastal and central Karnataka amid heavy rains and gusty winds triggered by Cyclone Tauktae over the last 24 hours, an official said on Sunday.
"Four isolated incidents occurred since late Saturday in Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga districts, as heavy rains induced by the cyclone lashed the state," Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) head Sunil Gavaskar told IANS.
Of the six who perished in the rain-related incidents, two drowned when their tugboat capsized on the high seas in Dakshina Kannada district. The districts affected by the cyclone are Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Uttara Kannada on the coast and Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Shivamogga in the Western Ghats.
"Out of eight persons in the marine vessel, two drowned and three swam to the shore, while three are missing. Search is on to trace and rescue them," state Revenue Minister R Ashoka said in a statement here. Strong winds and high tides in the Arabian Sea were hampering the rescue operation by the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF).
(With agency inputs)