Strong winds and intense rainfall is expected in parts of coastal Maharashtra over the next three to four hours. With Tauktae having evolved into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, the Indian Meteorological Department predicts that it will continue to move upwards along the Indian coastline, crossing the Gujarat coast early on Tuesday. Officials in Mumbai and at the Centre have taken a slew of precautionary measures over the last few days as the storm gained momentum and left a trail of destruction in its wake.
The met department on Monday morning predicted moderate to intense spells of rain accompanied with strong winds reaching 75-85 kmph for the districts of Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Ratnagiri during next few hours. "Gale winds speed reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Maharashtra coast on 17th and gradually decrease thereafter," predicted the IMD earlier this morning.
At the end of last week, several airlines including Vistara had issued a warning that the inclement weather may affect flights. The travel advisory issued by Vistara on Saturday includes Mumbai and applies till May 17th.
With sea conditions predicted to be "high to very high" along and off the Maharashtra coast, the Indian coast Guard had taken preemptive action. 4526 fishing boats of Maharashtra which had been out at sea have now safely returned to the harbour.
In response to the situation, the BMC has put a slew of restrictions in place, curtailing construction activities, halting the COVID-19 vaccination drive and more. "In view of the warning of high intensity cyclone issued by IMD, the vaccination program scheduled on Monday (17th May) stands cancelled at all MCGM & public vaccination centres," read a tweet by the BMC.
According to officials, multiple NDRF teams have been deployed to various locations along the western coast, including Mumbai. Within the city, lifeguards and other officials have also been put on high alert.