The cyclone is “very likely” to reach the Gujarat coast between 8 pm and 11 pm tonight.
The ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’- cyclone Tauktae- is around 160 km south-southwest of Mumbai, where the airport has been shut between 11 am and 2 pm. The cyclone is “very likely” to reach the Gujarat coast between 8 pm and 11 pm tonight.
In anticipation of landfall, from low-lying areas between Porbandar and Mahuva in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, around 25,000 people have been evacuated. From the low-lying areas in the state, overall more than 1.5 lakh have been shifted. Officials are bracing for very heavy rainfall and winds of up to 190 km per hour. Warnings are also in place in Junagarh, Gir Somnath and Amreli.
Porbandar, Amreli, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Botad, Bhavnagar and coastal areas of Ahmedabad are expected to be damaged seriously due to the cyclone, including destruction of thatched houses. Residents have been warned about flying objects and damage to power and communication lines by the officials. Along with flooding of streets, minor disruption to railway lines and signaling systems is expected.
While Mumbai experienced light rainfall and gusty winds early Monday, the airport in the city has been closed from 11 am to 2 pm. One flight – a SpiceJet Chennai-Mumbai service – has been diverted to Surat. The city’s Bandra-Worli sea link has been closed. Five temporary shelters have been set up in each of the city’s 24 wards. Three NDRF teams are on alert. Moderate to intense spells of rain, with winds reaching 75 to 85 km per over the city, as well as Thane, Raigad, Palghar and Ratnagiri districts, are likely in next few hours, NDTV reported.
While urging people to stay indoors as far as possible, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also asked officials to ensure electricity supply to COVID-19 hospitals and other medical facilities.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said Maharashtra would ensure power and oxygen for hospitals and that patients undergoing treatment at Covid and non-Covid facilities in coastal areas had been relocated.
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