In the view of impending Cyclone Tauktae, the Indian Air Force has prepared itself to tackle the situation after the natural calamity hits. Showing readiness for the forthcoming cyclone, the IAF has kept 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters on op readiness in preparation as the cyclone is expected to cause very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall along the western coast of India in the next few days.
A IL-76 aircraft has airlifted 127 personnel and 11 tonnes of cargo from Bhatinda to Jamnagar while a C-130 aircraft has airlifted 25 personnel and 12.3 tonnes cargo from Bhatinda to Rajkot. Besides, two C-130 aircraft have airlifted 126 personnel and 14 tonnes cargo from Bhubaneswar to Jamnagar.
Additionally, IAF Covid relief operations have been focused in these coastal areas for the coming few days, as bad weather is likely to affect air operations later. The cyclone relief operations are in addition to those underway for Covid relief.
The deep depression over the Arabian Sea has intensified into cyclonic storm Tauktae and is likely to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around May 18, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday. It said Tauktae will be a very severe cyclonic storm from May 16-18.
In a bulletin released at 1:45 PM, the IMD said, "It (Tauktae) is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next six hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 12 hours. It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around 18th May afternoon/evening." Both the Centre and states have been gearing up to deal with the cyclone that has been building up over the Arabian Sea for days now.
Later in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold an important meeting to review preparations to deal with the impending Cyclone Tauktae, according to government sources. The National Disaster Response Force has increased from 53 to 100 the number of teams earmarked to undertake relief and rescue measures in the aftermath of the cyclone.
The Central Water Commission has also issued a moderate to high risk alert over watersheds in central and northern parts of Kerala, adjoining south coastal and south interior Karnataka.
The government machinery in Goa has put in place necessary measures to tackle the situation in view of the warning about Cyclone Tauktae.
According to the IMD, Konkan and Goa are expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall on May 15 and 16. The Goa Fire and Emergency Services said it has kept its personnel ready to tackle the situation.