Severe Cyclone Tauktae weakens as it crosses Gujarat, high tide near Mumbai

Severe Cyclone Tauktae weakens as it crosses Gujarat, high tide near Mumbai

"Its eye is disorganising and wall cloud is weakening", as reported by IMD in a tweet.

As Cyclone Tauktae continues to impact several states on the Western Coast including Gujarat, damaging structures, electricity lines, and uprooting trees, the India Meteorological Department on Tuesday informed that the cyclone is continuing to show a weakening trend.

The entire eye of severe Cyclone Tauktae has now crossed the Gujarat coast and lies overland.

"Its eye is disorganising and wall cloud is weakening", as reported by IMD in a tweet.

Severe Cyclone Tauktae weakens as it crosses Gujarat, high tide near Mumbai
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A very severe cyclonic storm with winds gusting up to 185 km per hour began making landfall on the Gujarat coast Monday night, after dumping heavy rains on Mumbai, forcing the evacuation of over 1.5 lakh people in Gujarat and leaving two barges with 410 people on board adrift in the Arabian Sea.

Tropical storm 'Tauktae' (pronounced as Tau'Te) which had intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm, lies close to the Gujarat coast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

"The landfall process of extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae has started as forward sector of eye of the storm is entering the Saurashtra coast to the east of Diu," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in Ahmedabad.

Six persons were killed in Maharashtra's Konkan region in separate incidents related to the severe cyclonic storm and three sailors remained missing after two boats sank in the sea, officials said.

Three persons died in Raigad district, a sailor in Sindhudurg district and two persons were killed in Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar in Thane district after trees fell on them.

Severe Cyclone Tauktae weakens as it crosses Gujarat, high tide near Mumbai
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Major airports in the state shutdown operations till Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Barring the Rajkot airport, which will remain shut for flights till May 19, other three major airports - Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara - will remain closed for both domestic and international flights till Tuesday, officials said.

The Ahmedabad airport, which suspended its operations on Monday evening, will resume flights after 5 am on Tuesday.

"The Ahmedabad airport is fully prepared for cyclone Tauktae, and as a precautionary measure our operations will remain suspended from 19:30 hrs, 17th May to 05:00 hrs, 18th May 2021," the airport said in a statement.

Both Vadodara and Surat airports suspended take off and landing of flights at 11 am on Monday and will resume operations at 1 pm on Tuesday, the officials said.

The Rajkot airport has announced that its operations, which came to a halt at 4 pm on Monday, will remain suspended till 11:15 hours on May 19.

The tropical storm 'Tauktae' (pronounced as Tau'Te), which had intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm, lies close to the Gujarat coast, the IMD said.

The wind speed at the Union Territory of Diu was 133 kmph when the cyclone started making its landfall at around 9.30 pm, the Met office said.

The ESCS (extremely severe cyclonic storm) TAUKTAE lies close to Gujarat coast.

The landfall process started and will continue during next 02 hours, IMD said in a Twitter post.

"The forward sector of eye is entering into the land. The centre of the cyclone will cross Saurashtra coast to the east of Diu within next 03 hours. Outer cloud band lies over Saurashtra," the IMD said in another tweet.

An IMD official said the eye of the storm is likely to cross the Gujarat coast in about two hours.

"We expect that the eye of the storm will cross the coast in about two hours," said Assistant Director of the Gujarat Meteorological Centre Manorama Mohanty.

She said Tauktae, potentially the most devastating cyclone to hit Gujarat in almost 23 years, would make a landfall anywhere between the Union Territory of Diu and Mahuva town of Bhavnagar district just near Diu.

Gujarat Chief Minister also confirmed that the process of landfall has started.

He said coastal districts of Amreli, Junagadh, Gir- Somnath and Bhavnagar will face the maximum brunt as the wind speed would go up to 150 kmph when the eye of the storm would make a landfall.

"It is predicted that the landfall would happen after around 2 hours. The effect continues even after the eye of the storm would pass. Thus, the effect of the cyclone will remain till 1 am," Rupani told reporters in Gandhinagar.

Mohanty said the place above which the eye of a cyclone crosses is designated as the "place of landfall".

The Gujarat government has shifted over 2 lakh people from low-lying areas in coastal towns to safer places and mobilised disaster response teams 44 from the NDRF and 10 from the SDRF - officials said.

Two boats with seven sailors on board, anchored in the Anandwadi harbour in Sindhudurg district capsized, an official statement said.

As the cyclone moved past the Maharashtra coast in the morning, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport initially announced the suspension of operations from 11 am to 2 pm and later decided to keep all operations shut till 8 pm.

Over 1.5 lakh people were shifted from low-lying coastal areas in Gujarat, while 54 teams of the NDRF and SDRF remained deployed, an official said.

At least 17 COVID-19 patients on ventilator support in the Porbandar Civil Hospital's ICU were shifted to other facilities on Monday as a precautionary measure because of cyclone Tauktae which is heading towards the Gujarat coast, an official said.

The Centre has offered all help to Gujarat to deal with the cyclone and asked the Army, Navy and the Air Force to remain on standby to assist the administration if the need arises, the Gujarat government said.

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