Most Severe Cyclone in Decades Weakens after Making Landfall in Gujarat

Cyclone Tauktae has weakened on Tuesday after making landfall in Gujarat on Monday. The intensity of the cyclone is expected to reduce further in the next few hours. Around 200,000 people were evacuated to safety from their homes in the Indian state of Gujarat as the state authorities prepared for the most severe cyclone in decades.

The state had closed ports and the main airport as Cyclone Tauktae approached the west coast of the country. There have been no reports of any damages at the refineries and seaports that were lined in the storm’s path.

According to the authorities, Cyclone Tauktae has killed 12 people and left destruction in its wake as it moved past the coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. The cyclone has crossed into Saurashtra in Gujarat, killing four people in the state and slightly weakened from ‘extremely severe’ to a ‘very severe cyclonic storm.’

The Indian navy said that it had rescued 146 people from one of two barges that were adrift near the Mumbai coastline, adding that planes and helicopters had been deployed to monitor the seas.

Gujarat Braces for Cyclone Tauktae, the Most Severe Cyclone in Decades

Image: PTI

This means the wind speeds will be ranging from 115 kmph to 125 kmph reaching up to 140 kmph. According to the India Meteorological Department, it lies about 230 kilometres south of Ahmedabad and by the end of the day is expected to weaken into a ‘deep depression.’

The Konkan coast, parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan are likely to see heavy rainfall and strong winds that are expected to destroy plantations, crops, thatched-roof houses, power lines and roads.

An official of the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said three of the casualties were reported due to the falling of walls after heavy rains and strong winds.

The dead included one each from Rajkot, Valsad and Bhavnagar, one of the worst affected districts by the cyclone in Gujarat. An electric pole fell on a woman while she was sleeping in Patan town amid strong wind.

Gujarat Braces for Cyclone Tauktae, the Most Severe Cyclone in Decades

Image: Sujit Jaiswal/AFP

Several areas in the coastal regions of Gujarat have a power outage, while a large number of trees, electric poles and mobile towers got uprooted amidst the high-speed winds.

Temporary structures were also damaged in the strong winds, while heavy rainfall in the affected regions caused flooding and tree fall caused roadblocks.

Army personnel and other rescue teams instantly moved into action to clear the roads by removing trees and poles and restoring damaged structures. According to SEOC received, seventy-one districts in the state witnessed rainstorms due to the cyclone.

Several parts of the coastal districts of Gir Somnath, Amreli, and Bhavnagar as well as parts of Valsad district in south Gujarat received heavy rainfall. Una in Gir Somnath, one of the worst affected districts, received the highest amount of rainfall at 175 mm in 12 hours.

Update: May 19

In recent developments, at least 22 personnel, onboard barge P305 that went adrift and sank in the Arabian Sea on Monday, have died. Over 60 people are still missing while at least 180 people have been rescued.

According to officials, as many as 45 people have been killed due to the cyclone across 12 districts in the state. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi analyzed the situation in Gujarat via aerial survey.

Via: Indian Express

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