- Cyclone Tauktae is Gujarat's most intense storm in over two decades
- Mumbai experienced highest-ever wind speed of 114 kmph
- Six died, nine were injured as the storm brushed past Maharashtra
Here are the top 10 updates on Cyclone Tauktae:
Cyclone Tauktae, the biggest to hit the region in decades, made landfall in Gujarat at around 8.30 pm on Monday, packing winds with speeds of 155-165 kilometres per hour, gusting to 190 km/hour. After the landfall ended around midnight, the weather office downgraded the storm from 'extremely severe' to 'very severe'. It later said in a tweet that the cyclone was weakening further.
Diu, near Gujarat, witnessed winds with speeds up to 133 kilometre per hour and waves as high as three metres.
Six people died and nine were injured as the storm brushed past Maharashtra. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took a review of the damage caused by the cyclone. His office tweeted that vehicular movement was being restored after removing trees and electric poles that fell due to gusty winds.
Mumbai on Monday witnessed the highest-ever wind speed of 114 kilometres per hour. Heavy rainfall pummelled the city as well. Flight operations were suspended for hours. The Bandra-Worli sea-link also remained shut for traffic because of strong winds, which damaged many structures in the city. Waterlogging was also reported from low-lying areas.
In Karnataka, eight people died due to cyclone-related incidents. According to a report by Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, 121 villages in seven districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Belagavi have been affected by the cyclone. In Kerala, seven people died and nearly 1,500 houses were damaged, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted late Monday.
The Gujarat government had shifted over a lakh people living in coastal areas to safer places after the India Meteorological Department issued warnings of tidal waves and flooding. The weather office said extremely heavy downpour over the southern districts of Saurashtra and Diu is expected on Tuesday as well. It has issued an orange alert for heavy rains in Madhya Pradesh. Some parts of Uttar Pradesh may also receive rainfall.
The Gujarat government has deployed teams from several departments to provide rescue and relief. Special arrangements have been made in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to ensure uninterrupted electricity. Hundreds of ambulances have been kept on standby to shift patients in cases of emergency, news agency PTI reported.
National Disaster Response Force chief SN Pradhan told NDTV on Monday that doctors and medical staff had been sent to the affected states along with 100 rescue and relief teams. Only Covid-vaccinated personnel were deployed, he added. The teams are equipped with machines that can cut through fallen trees. In cyclone shelters, social distancing and other anti-Covid rules are being enforced.
The Navy is on standby in Gujarat. The Army is continuously monitoring the situation. 180 relief and rescue teams and nine Engineer Task Forces (ETFs) are on standby.
"With the impending landfall of the extremely severe cyclonic storm forecast in coastal areas of Gujarat, Indian Army units and formations have prepared themselves with substantial teams along with elements of communication and engineer task forces to provide relief and all kinds of assistance," an Army statement read.