By Administrator_ India
Over 1.5 lakh people were evacuated from low-lying areas along India’s western coast as a powerful Cyclone Tauktae is expected to make landfall in Gujarat by Monday (May 17, 2021) evening.
According to the India Meteorological Department’s latest notification on Tauktae, it has now become a “very severe cyclonic storm” and is likely to intensify even further in the next 24 hours before making landfall in Gujarat.
As cyclone Tauktae barrels towards Gujarat, at least six people have lost their lives, hundreds of houses were damaged, trees and electricity poles were uprooted and as many as 1.5 lakh people are evacuated from the coastal areas.
Other states like Kerala and Goa have been witnessing heavy rainfall, gale-force winds, and high tidal waves as cyclone Tauktae nears.
Strong winds with speed reaching up to 90 km/per were lashing the western coastal region, and as per the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD, by May 18 the wind speed is expected to increase to 150-160 km per hour, gusting up to 175 km per hour.
Over 54 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in Gujarat to manage the situation.
On the other hand, Maharashtra is also bracing for the impact of cyclone Tauktae. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has completely closed the COVID-19 vaccination drive in Mumbai in view of the warning about cyclone Tauktae.
The vaccination program will now be implemented on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said in the announcement.
IMD has also predicted that isolated places in north Konkan, Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar will receive heavy to very heavy on Monday, while Raigad can receive extremely heavy rainfall.
Gusty winds and heavy rains started lashing several parts of Goa since Saturday night disrupting power supply in a large part of the state.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the major impact of the cyclonic winds was felt in Bardez taluka in the North Goa district and Mormugao in South Goa. He said there was power disruption for some time at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, where COVID-19 patients are undergoing treatment, but it did not affect the functioning.
The electricity department deployed its full force for the restoration work, but it was getting hampered due to the strong winds, he said.
At least four people died in Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga, and Chikkamgaluru, the Karnataka government announced.
In Karnataka, over 70 villages in seven districts including Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Hassan have been affected by the cyclone, the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority officials said.
The highest rainfall of 385 mm was recorded at Nada Station in Kundapura taluk of Udupi district, which was the worst affected, and 15 stations recorded more than 200 mm of rainfall in the district. Officials said nearly a dozen relief camps are functioning in the state.
There has been damage to 112 houses, 139 electricity poles and other infrastructure in coastal areas.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has asked in-charge Ministers of coastal districts and Deputy Commissioners there to visit the affected areas and carry out rescue and relief works.
The water level in many dams across Kerala showed a rising trend after heavy rains in the catchment areas, prompting authorities to sound an alert.
The IMD has issued orange alerts -a warning indicating heavy to very heavy rain- on Sunday in three Kerala districts-Ernakulam, Idukki and Malappuram.
Many houses were damaged in coastal areas across the state as seawater seeped in following high waves. According to the state government, at least nine districts have been severely affected by sea incursion.
The Thrissur district administration said spillway shutters of the Peringalkuthu dam will be opened if the water level crosses the permitted limit of 419.41 metres. In a statement, the administration has urged the people living on the banks of the Chalakudy river to be cautious.
Shutters of Malankara dam in Idukki district will be opened on Sunday, as the water level has increased, the district authorities said. Families living in coastal areas and low-lying areas of the state have been shifted to relief camps.
Indian Navy deployed its diving and quick reaction teams in the coastal village of Chellanam in Ernakulam district, which was heavily hit by tidal waves. The teams, braving harsh weather conditions, undertook rescue and rehabilitation of people who were trapped in houses.
High tidal waves have also lashed Kaipamangalam, Chavakkad and Kodungallur in Thrissur, Pallithura in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrikkannapuzha in Alappuzha and Beypore and Koyilandy in KNDRFozhikode districts.