Cyclone Tauktae forced over 12,000 citizens to be relocated to safer places from Maharashtra’s coastal areas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take stock of the situation in the state in the backdrop of Cyclone Tauktae sweeping the coastal regions of the state. The gale has by now intensified into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm”, according to the weather department, and is likely to reach the Gujarat coast today evening.
The Prime Minister also called up Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Goa, besides the Lieutenant Governor of Daman & Diu, to discuss the preparation and response to the storm, according to agency reports.
At around 2.30 pm, the cyclone lay about 165 kilometres west-northwest of Mumbai and 130 kilometres south-southeast of Diu. It was expected to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva, east of Diu tonight between 10 pm and 11 pm, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.
Today’s cyclone hit windspeeds of 114 kmph, highest ever for Mumbai in any recent records. This is a climatic pattern that we have started studying, along with its maximum impact points, water logging areas and types of trees that are damaged.
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) May 17, 2021
On Monday, Mumbaikars woke up witnessing gusty winds and heavy showers due to the cyclone. Many Mumbaikars are enjoying the change in weather amid the coronavirus pandemic. The city continued to be battered by heavy rains through the day.
The airport was shut through the day and the Bandra-Worli sea link closed, as was the city monorail service. Temporary shelters have been set up across the city.
State Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said 193 COVID-19 patients admitted in a makeshift centre in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex had been shifted to other BMC-run hospitals due to the heavy rains that lashed the city.
The police have been asked to maintain close coordination with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials ward-wise to implement mitigation measures, an official told PTI.
“All police stations and posts have been asked to check communication equipment like wireless sets and public address systems to ensure they are working optimally. The same instructions have been given for vehicles and life-saving and rescue items like life jackets, first-aid kits, ropes, hammers, emergency lighting, stretchers etc,” the official informed.
Over 12,000 citizens were relocated to safer places from Maharashtra’s coastal areas. Those relocated include 8,380 people in Raigad, 3,896 in Ratnagiri, and 144 in Sindhudurg districts.
“Farmers in some parts of Konkan have suffered losses due to the situation. Spot inspections have begun,” Mr Malik said in a statement.
The Indian Coast Guard said it had rescued 12 fishermen stranded around 35 nautical miles off the Kochi coast amid rough seas due to the cyclone on the night of May 16.