Tauktae causes destruction in Kerala, may turn into very severe cyclonic storm
In the next two to three hours, the cyclone is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm.
Torrential rains caused by the cyclonic storm Tauktae have hit the coast of Kerala and flooded several areas, causing widespread destruction in the region. Buildings have been damaged and several families living close to the coast had to abandon their homes. Heavy rains have also hit parts of south Karnataka, causing inundation. Orange and red alerts have been issued in districts of Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat, where the storm is likely to cause moderate to heavy rainfall over the next two days. In the next two to three hours, the cyclone is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm. It may evolve into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ with a wind speed of up to 150-160 km/hr on May 16, said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
The name 'Tauktae' has been given by Myanmar which means 'gecko', a lizard known for its distinctive vocalisations. This is the first cyclone of 2021 and it can turn quite dangerous. The cyclone Tautkae will be forming over the southeast Arabian Sea on Saturday. On Friday, the IMD launched a cyclone watch and has released the possible track which the cyclone will take. According to its reports, strong winds, ranging from 40-50 km per hour are likely to hit the coastal regions. The wind speed may gradually intensify to 70 km per hour on 15 May and reach 80 km per hour by May 16.
This is the first cyclone of 2021.
IMD has also issued region-wise alerts in several districts of Maharashtra. The districts of Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri are expected to receive heavy rainfall. Some places in Mumbai and South Konkan region will also receive heavy rainfall. Raigad is expected to witness thunderstorms with lightning and gusty winds from Saturday. The districts of Kolhapur and Satara are expected to receive very heavy rain on Sunday and Monday. A similar warning has been issued for Pune.
The coast of Gujarat is likely to receive rainfall from May 17 onward. The cyclonic storm is said to be likely to cross the coast of Gujarat by the morning of May 18.
State governments have issued warnings and prepared teams to tackle the aftermath of the cyclone and minimise damage. More than 100 teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) are on duty in five states - Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the Arabian Sea till Tuesday, May 18. The Indian Air Force (IAF_ has kept 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters on op readiness in peninsular India in preparation for the cyclone.
(With inputs from Manisha Swain)