In view of IMD's warning about Cyclone Tauktae, Gujarat has geared up adequately to ensure there is no casualty and set up a control room, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Saturday even as a Central advisory predicted damage to thatched houses, roads, power and communication lines in the districts of the Saurashtra region. As per the India Meteorological Department, the cyclone is likely to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya on May 18 afternoon or evening as a "very severe cyclonic storm" bringing isolated extremely heavy rainfall with the wind speed reaching 175 kmph along Saurashtra and Kutch coasts.
Rupani said teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) will be deployed. "The state government has made full preparations and a control room has been set up. Administrations of the districts in Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions, which are likely to be affected by the cyclone, have been alerted. Teams of the NDRF are reaching the state, and they will be deployed," Rupani told reporters in Palanpur in Banaskantha district.
He said the state will try to prevent casualties in the cyclone. "Gujarat is fully prepared. We are working with the concern that there shouldn't be any casualty in the cyclone," the CM added.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has issued an advisory asking the Gujarat government to keep a close watch, regularly monitor the situation and take appropriate precautionary measures. It said the "very severe cyclonic storm" is likely to cause damage to thatched houses, roads, power and communication lines, especially in the districts of Saurashtra region such as Devbhoomi Dwarka, Kutch, Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Jamnagar, Amreli, Rajkot and Morbi.
The Home Ministry also said that fishing operations in the state should be totally suspended, rail and road traffic used judiciously, and people in the affected areas asked to remain indoors. Due to the cyclone, many places in the coastal districts of Saurashtra will receive light to moderate rainfall, and heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Saurashtra and Kutch, and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in Junagadh and Gir Somnath districts on May 17, it said.
On May 18, a few places in Saurashtra and Kutch region will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall, with extremely heavy falls (more than 20 cms) at isolated places in districts of Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar and Kutch districts, it said. As per the advisory, on the morning of May 17, coasts along and off south Gujarat will get squally wind reaching 40 to 50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph, which will gradually increase and become gale wind and reach a speed of 150-160 kmph gusting to 175 kmph along and off Saurashtra and Kutch coasts (Devbhoomi Dwarka and Porbandar).
The wind speed will increase to 120-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph over Kutch, Porbandar, Junagadh, Jamnagar districts of Gujarat from May 18 afternoon/evening for subsequent six hours, it said. "Sea condition is likely to be very rough to high over the northwest Arabian sea along and off south Gujarat coast from May 17 morning, and very high to phenomenal from May 18 morning.
"Tidal wave of about 2-3 metres above astronomical tide is likely to inundate coastal areas of Morbi, Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar district, and 1-2 metres along Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, and 0.5-1 metre over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat," the advisory said. The Home Ministry has also advised total suspension of fishing operations over the northwest Arabian sea and along and off the Gujarat coast from May 17.
"Fishermen are advised not to venture into the east, the central and adjoining northwest Arabian sea along and off the Gujarat coast till May 18," it said. Amreli, Rajkot, and Morbi districts may also report major damages to thatched houses, minor damage to power and communication lines, major damage to kutcha, and some damage to pucca roads, as well as flooding of escape routes, damage to salt pans and coastal crops, it said.