Cyclonic storm Tauktae is expected to be among the most severe cyclones to hit Gujarat in twenty years. Officials have said that it is expected to be as dangerous as the 1998 storm that hit Kandla twenty years ago and wreaked havoc in the state killing over 4000 people.
Meanwhile, ports and airports have been closed as Gujarat prepares for a Tauktae’s landfall in the evening. Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra have so far been in the path of the storm and seen destruction and deaths.
Gujarat’s revenue secretary Pankaj Kumar told news agencies that this will be the most severe cyclone to hit Gujarat in at least 20 years. “This can be compared with the 1998 cyclone that hit Kandla and inflicted heavy damage,” Kumar told the media.
The cyclonic storm intensified into an extremely severe one by Monday morning taking the met department by surprise. Officials said extremely favourable oceanic and atmospheric conditions led to the situation.
Meanwhile, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai has been shut till 4 pm in the wake of cyclone Tauktae and some flights have been diverted.
IMD on Tauktae
The IMD said Cyclone Tauktae has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm on Monday morning at around 5.30 am and lay centered over the east-central Arabian Sea about 150 km west of Mumbai, 220 km south-southeast of Diu, and 260 km southeast of Veraval at 8:30 am.
“It is very likely to move north-north-westwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva during the night (8 pm- 11 pm) of May 17 with a maximum sustained wind speed 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph,” the IMD stated.
At 1130 hours IST, Tauktae lay about 145 km west of Mumbai and 180 km south-southeast of Diu. To cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva, east of Diu tonight (2000-2300 hrs IST). pic.twitter.com/sKsmwcNMor
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 17, 2021
Cyclone Tauktae has so far killed at least 12 people in the states that were in its path.
The IMD has said that Gujarat will see light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places over Saurashtra, Diu, and adjoining Gujarat region on May 17. Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Saurashtra and Kutch is expected on May 18.
The IMD has warned of potential heavy damage in Diu, Amreli Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Botad, and Bhavnagar.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here