The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has informed that Cyclone Tauktae has now intensified into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” and it is likely to reach the Gujarat coast by May 17 evening and cross the state coast between 8 pm and 11 pm.
Meanwhile, taking precautionary measures, the state administration has shifted over one lakh people living in coastal areas of 17 districts to safer places
The State Emergency Operation Centre has informed that in the 24 hours ending at 6 am on May 17, 84 talukas of 21 districts of Gujarat received light rainfall, mainly caused due to cyclonic disturbances.
“It is very likely to move north-north-westwards and reach the Gujarat coast in the evening hours of (May) 17th and cross the state coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) during the night (2000 hrs-2300 hrs IST) with a maximum sustained wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph,” the IMD said.
“The cyclone will cause light to moderate rainfall at many places in the state, heavy to very heavy showers at a few places, and extremely heavy downpour at isolated places over southern districts of Saurashtra, Diu and Gujarat region on Monday and Tuesday,” it added.
“The sea conditions will remain phenomenal till Tuesday morning before improving,” the IMD further added.
Meanwhile, several teams of departments like forest, roads and buildings, health, revenue and electricity have been deployed to immediately address the damage caused due to the cyclone.
Apart from it, 41 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have also been deployed along with 10 State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams.
“Three teams of the NDRF have been kept in reserve,” a state government release added.
Given the COVID-19 situation, the state government has made special arrangements in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to ensure electricity backup in case of a power outage due to the cyclone.
“Arrangements have also been made for 161 ICU ambulances and 576 ambulances of 108 service to shift patients in case of emergency,” the release added.
It may be mentioned here that the Gujarat government has also created 35 green corridors for easy transportation of medical oxygen for the needy patients across Gujarat.
“De-watering pumps have also been set up in low-lying areas to clear flooding. Local administrations have removed 2,126 hoardings in urban areas and 643 in rural areas as well as 668 temporary structures, to avoid any threat caused by them to people’s lives,” the release added.