The very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae with winds gusting up to 185 km per hour is barreling towards the Gujarat coast, dumping heavy rains on Mumbai, forcing the evacuation of over 1.5 lakh people in Gujarat and leaving two barges with 410 people on board adrift in the Arabian Sea.
All you need to know about the storm wreaking havoc on India’s west coast:
- Tropical storm ‘Tauktae’ which has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm is packing wind speeds of about 20 kmph and is expected to reach Gujarat coast by 8 pm and cross it by 11 pm, the IMD said.
- As the cyclone raged past the Maharashtra coast and inched closer to Mumbai in the morning, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport announced the suspension of operations from 11 am to 2 pm and later decided to keep all operations shut till 8 pm.
- Over 1.5 lakh people have been shifted from low-lying coastal areas in Gujarat, while 54 teams of the NDRF and SDRF remained deployed. At least 17 Covid-19 patients on ventilator support in the Porbandar Civil Hospital’s ICU were shifted to other facilities.
- The Centre has offered all help to Gujarat to deal with the cyclone and asked the Army, Navy and the Air Force to remain on standby to assist the administration if the need arises.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are in touch with the state government and have extended all possible help, said Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani after holding a meeting with collectors of coastal districts which are likely to face the maximum brunt of the cyclone. The PM called up Rupani and enquired about the state government’s preparedness to deal with the cyclone.
- The Indian Navy is currently engaged in rescuing two personnel from two barges adrift near the Bombay High in the Arabian Sea. INS Kochi and INS Kolkata have been sailed with a despatch for Search and Rescue (SAR) assistance, a Navy spokesperson. The oil fields are around 70 km southwest of Mumbai.
- Gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belts of Maharashtra and Goa as Cyclone Tauktae hurtled northwards towards Gujarat. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday took stock of the situation in Mumbai, Thane and other coastal districts of the state in the wake of the cyclonic storm.
- As Mumbai continued to be battered with heavy rains, over 12,000 citizens were relocated to safer places from the coastal areas. These include 8,380 people in Raigad, 3,896 in Ratnagiri and 144 in Sindhudurg districts.
- The Indian Coast Guard said it rescued 12 fishermen stranded around 35 nautical miles off the Kochi coast amid rough seas due to the cyclone on the night of May 16.
- On Monday, Mumbaikars woke up witnessing gusty winds and heavy showers due to the cyclone. Many Mumbaikars are enjoying the change in weather amid the coronavirus pandemic.