The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its report has identified the Cyclone Tauktae, brewing over the Arabian Sea and Lakshwadeep region, which is likely to change into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’. The weather condition in these areas has intensified into a deep depression and could become a severe storm over the next few days.
IMD has issued a Red alert for the states of Kerela, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. A warning has been issued for the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra which are expected to receive severe rainfall. The coast of Gujarat is likely to have been hit by the cyclone by the evening of 18th May. Nearly two lakh people have been evacuated from the residential belt of Kutch and Saurashtra as a precautionary measure. It is conjectured that for the next few days, several regions especially the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts in the South Konkan region of Maharashtra will receive moderate to heavy rainfall. Mumbai, Raigad and Thane will also receive heavy rainfall as will Kolhapur and Satara. A warning has been issued in Pune to warn the residents of the same.
After intensification, Cyclone Tauktae could have a speed ranging between 150-160 kilometres per hour which could increase to 175 km/h. Several cases of death, injury and missing persons have been reported. Several properties and structures have been destroyed and many people have lost their lives. Cyclone Tauktae has also caused a landfall on the coast of Gujarat which has killed as many as six people till now. In a conversation with the Prime Minister were the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa and the governor of Daman and Diu to strategize in preparation of the cyclone.
The Cyclone gets its name from the Burmese language where ‘Tauktae’ means ‘gecko’. The name has been devised by the nation of Myanmar as the first cyclone of the year to hit the country. An Army tweet read – ‘Focus is to save lives, speedy clearance of routes to ensure movement of oxygen and standby arrangements at COVID hospitals.’ The cyclone is expected to lose its intensity within the next few days.
A situation like this brings to light the condition of preparedness of the states to tackle such devastating natural adversities. It is imperative to always have resources and be prepared to help people overcome such catastrophes in the future.