Cyclone Tauktae Expected To Hit Gujarat In Evening, Mumbai Airport Shuts

Cyclone Tauktae: Around 25,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas between Porbandar and Mahuva in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district in anticipation of landfall

Cyclone Tauktae Expected To Hit Gujarat In Evening, Mumbai Airport Shuts

Cyclone Tauktae is expected to make landfall along the Gujarat coast late Monday night

New Delhi: Cyclone Tauktae - an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm' - is "very likely" to make landfall in Gujarat's Bhavnagar between 10 and 11 pm, with winds up to 165 km per hour. At 2.30 pm it was 165 km west-northwest of Mumbai and moving at 15 km per hour.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Although the 'eye' of the storm has passed Mumbai, it experienced heavy rainfall and winds up to 100 km per hour. Visuals from the iconic Gateway of India showed waves crashing into the stone culverts and metal traffic barriers being tossed aside. The airport has been shut till 6 pm and the Bandra-Worli sea link is closed, as is the Mumbai Monorail. Temporary shelters have been set up across the city. 

  2. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the state - with nearly five lakh active Covid cases - would ensure power and oxygen for hospitals and that patients undergoing treatment at Covid and non-Covid facilities in coastal areas had been relocated. More than 12,000 people have been evacuated so far. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mr Thackeray this afternoon to review the situation.

  3. A barge with 273 people onboard has gone adrift off the Heera oil fields in the Bombay High area. Navy warship INS Kochi has been sent to help and is expected to reach at around 4 pm. A second barge - carrying 137 people - has gone adrift eight nautical miles from Mumbai. INS Kolkata has been sent to help. 

  4. Around 25,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas between Porbandar and Mahuva in Gujarat's Bhavnagar. Across the state more than 1.5 lakh have been shifted. Massive damage - to power and communication lines, disruption to railway lines and signaling systems and to salt pans and crops - is expected in Porbandar, Amreli, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Botad and coastal Ahmedabad.

  5. Prime Minister Modi has asked for least disruption in oxygen supply from Gujarat's Jamnagar - the site of a Reliance Industries' refinery that is currently India's largest single-location medical oxygen provider. Oxygen supply is of critical importance with lakhs of Covid patients on life support. Reliance has said it is working to ensure supply but warned it may be forced to shut down for a few hours.

  6. On Monday morning news agency ANI said nearly 7,000 fishing boats - around 2,200 from Gujarat and 4,500 from Maharashtra had been returned to harbour. In addition over 300 merchant ships were alerted or re-routed and oil rig operators were also warned.

  7. National Disaster Response Force head SN Pradhan said over 100 NDRF teams have been activated, of which 65 were pre-deployed. Quick response medical and public health teams, with stocks of emergency medicines, have also been sent into the field.

  8. The Air Force has deployed two C-130J and an An-32 aircraft to transport 167 NDRF personnel and 16.5 tonnes of equipment from Kolkata to Ahmedabad. The Navy is on standby in Gujarat and was engaged in search and rescue ops in Kerala on Sunday.

  9. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who has urged people to stay indoors as far as possible, has also asked officials to ensure electricity supply to COVID-19 hospitals and other medical facilities. Gujarat is among the states worst hit by the second Covid wave; it has over 1.11 lakh active cases.

  10. On Sunday Tauktae triggered gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves along the Karnataka, Kerala and Goa coasts, killing at least six people. It also forced the evacuation of lakhs from coastal areas, damaged houses, roads and power lines.

With input from ANI, PTI, Reuters