Cyclone Tauktae intensifies: Gujarat braces for impact
Photo Credit: PTI

Junagadh (Gujarat): Thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas along its western coast as a powerful Cyclone Tauktae is expected to make landfall in the state of Gujarat.

IMD DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra informed that cyclone Tauktae is very likely to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district around the early morning of May 18.

He further said that heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected to occur in coastal areas of Gujarat on May 18. Meanwhile, some places may experience extremely heavy rainfall.

People living near coastal areas of Malia in Junagadh were evacuated by Sunday evening.

While inspecting arrangements, area Collector Sourabh Pardhi said, "Over 1200 people have been evacuated. All precautionary measures are being taken with respect to food and shelter. All arrangements are in place." Many people were seen loading their luggage in the vehicles while the evacuation process was underway.

50 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been deployed, informed NDRF Director General S N Pradhan.

"By the evening or late night, 50 teams will reach Gujarat. We are constantly working on evacuation and awareness generation," said NDRF DG."Gujarat is most likely to experience the maximum impact," he added.

Speaking to ANI, he further informed that over 100 teams of NDRF have been deployed in five to six states, but half are being used in Gujarat because of the prediction of a higher impact in the state.

Some people have died in Tamil Nadu due to wall collapse and electrocution. Some people have died in Karnataka."According to official reports, five people have died in Karnataka on Sunday due to the cyclone. Goa has reported two deaths so far.

The Indian Meteorological Department on Monday informed that the cyclone is nearing towards south-southeast of Diu. "#CycloneAlert As per Radar observation (DWR GOA) at 2330 IST, the VSCS "Tauktae" lay centered at 17.5N/71.9E, with an elliptical eye of around 42.0 km diameter and at a distance of 360 KM south-southeast of Diu", tweeted IMD.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a review meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Administrator of Daman and Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli to assess the preparedness of States and Central ministries to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone Tauktae.

The IMD has also issued a warning for fishermen near coastal areas. There is a total suspension of fishing operations over eastcentral and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea and along and off Kerala-Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra coasts. Total suspension of fishing operations over northeast Arabian Sea and along and off Gujarat coast from May 17.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a high-level meeting here on Saturday to review the preparedness of states and central agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone 'Tauktae'.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has kept 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters operation ready in peninsular India as a preparation for the Cyclone Tauktae.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials have also assured on Friday that they are well prepared for Cyclone Tauktae and 53 teams have been committed, 24 teams pre-deployed, and 29 teams are on standby ready for the 5 most vulnerable states-- Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in