Cyclone Tauktae has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm Sunday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The weather office also warned that Tauktae is “very likely to intensify further” during the next 12 hours and may cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district on Tuesday morning.
Though the cyclonic storm is heading towards the coast of Gujarat, it is causing continuous downpour and gusty winds in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
An orange alert has been sounded in three districts of Kerala – Malappuram, Ernakulam and Idukki and a yellow alert in all other districts. IMD has said that the state will receive isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall even as Tauktae moves further north in the Arabian Sea. It has also warned of rough seas and thunderstorms in the state in coming hours and urged the public to exercise caution.
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has instructed fisherfolk not to venture into sea till further notice. IMD has also informed that the effects of Tauktae will be felt in Kerala for next 24 hours.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter and said, “According to @Indiametdept #Tauktae’s effects will be felt in Kerala for another 24 hours. Average rainfall over the last 2 days is 145.5mm. 200mm+ rain in Kochi, Peermade stations. Those on river banks should be cautious, especially along Manimala and Achankovil”.
He also asked those being moved to relief camps to carry masks, sanitizer, medicines, prescriptions, certificates and important documents.
Torrential rains along with fierce winds and high tidal waves wreaked havoc in the state for the past few days. All districts experienced very heavy rainfall. Many low-lying areas and roads were inundated. Several houses were partially or fully damaged and many trees were uprooted. Power lines were found snapped in various parts. Relief camps were set up across the state.
Two lives were lost in rain-related incidents in Ernakulam and Kozhikode.
In Karnataka, four people were killed and 73 villages in six districts – three coastal and three in hilly regions of the Western Ghats — were destroyed due to Cyclone Tauktae. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa stated the situation is being closely monitored and rescue and relief operations are ensured.
Maharashtra is another state that has been affected by Cyclone Tauktae. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the state’s preparedness for the cyclone. The state is expected to witness heavy rainfall later in the day. Mumbai civic body has decided to shift as many as 580 patients from three Covid care facilities as a precautionary measure.
The cyclonic storm also hit the coastal areas of Goa on Sunday morning. Heavy wind and rain have caused severe damage in Panaji. Roads have been blocked due to uprooting of trees. Compound walls and several vehicles were damaged after trees fell on them. Goa is likely to witness heavy downpour for the rest of the day.
Cyclone Tauktae is expected to make a landfall over the Gujarat coast in the early hours of Tuesday. It will cross between Porbandar and Mahuva in the Bhavnagar district.
According to IMD, after landfall, Cyclone Tauktae will weaken rapidly and travel inland north-eastwards. However, along the course, substantial rainfall will be experienced across north India. The remnants of the storm will cause rains in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand until Thursday.
In the wake of the cyclonic storm, Indian Railways has cancelled or short terminated some trains. Fishing operations have been totally suspended over east central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea and along and off Kerala-Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra coasts.