Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ World https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Cyclone Tauktae: Thousands evacuated in West India as powerful storm threatens Gujarat

Cyclone Tauktae: Thousands evacuated in West India as powerful storm threatens Gujarat

The tropical cyclone Tauktae, which is forming in the Arabian Sea, is moving north along the west coast of India, bringing harmful winds, torrential rain and the threat of storms into the state of Gujarat.

The storm has a maximum wind of 205 kilometers per hour (127 mph), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. This is equivalent to a strong Atlantic hurricane of category 3 and just shy of category 4, which starts at 209 km / h.

Tauktae has killed at least six people in the southern states of Goa and Karnataka.

At least two people were killed Sunday in a storm that caused heavy rains in Goa, State Secretary Pramod Savant told a news conference.

“One boy died due to a tree falling on his head and the second death, two people were on a motorcycle when an electric pole fell on them and one died on the way to the hospital,”

; Savant said.

In Karnataka, four people were killed, 216 houses were damaged and 253 people sought refuge in relief camps due to the cyclone on Sunday night, according to data from the State Disaster Management Authority in Karnataka.

Police are clearing fallen trees from a road following heavy rains and strong winds brought by Cyclone Tauktae in Panjim, Goa on May 16th.

A rescue operation was carried out in Karnataka on Monday after two tugs capsized on Saturday with 10 people on board. A body was found on Saturday, and the Coast Guard and Navy rescued five people. The other four were blocked overnight but were transferred by a naval helicopter, according to the Coast Guard on Monday.

Rescue and repair efforts are also underway in Kerala, where several areas are on a red alert for extremely heavy rainfall after strong winds and rain that damaged houses, felled trees, cut power lines and flooded as the cyclone moved northwest up the coast. .

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that Tauktaye had intensified in an “extremely strong cyclonic storm”. At 11 a.m. local time (1.30 p.m. ET), he was about 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of Mumbai and was traveling at a speed of approximately 15 km / h (9 mph), according to the latest IMD update. Drought is expected on the Gujarat peninsula near the city of Diu around midnight on Tuesday local time.
Nearly 150,000 people are expected to be evacuated from villages and low-lying areas near the coast, and instructions have been issued to complete the evacuation process by Sunday night, a Gujarat government said in a statement.

Precipitation over 200 millimeters (8 inches) has fallen in parts of the west coast of India and an additional 200 millimeters are possible in and around the Gujarat Peninsula, according to CNN Weather. The threat to life and property is likely to increase with storm expectations expected between 1.5 and 3 meters (5 to 10 feet) in and around the mainland.

“It’s extremely rare at this time of year for this cyclone, which is the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane, to penetrate land in India,” said CNN meteorologist Tom Sutter. “It is moving along the west coast of India, releasing an incredible amount of rainfall, flooding communities and (causing) power outages.”

“If you head to southern India, the city of Koch in Kerala – already more than 500 millimeters of rain,” added Sutter. “So communities are (already) dealing with massive floods, evacuations, downed trees, power outages. It’s a huge undertaking.”

Police and rescue personnel evacuated a local resident through a flooded street in the Kochi coastal area on May 14th.

The Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said it had deployed more than 100 teams in six coastal states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to help with evacuations and rescue measures. About 22 teams have been prepared for backup, according to Satya Pradhan, director general of the NDRF.

“The main state of the strike will be Gujarat and we expect maximum impact there,” Pradhan said, adding that more than 50 teams had been deployed in the region alone.

In addition, the Indian Coast Guard and Navy have also deployed ships and helicopters for search and rescue operations.

The IMD has warned that strong winds are expected to destroy thatched houses along the coast of Diu and the southern coastal areas of Gujarat. Major damage is expected to buildings and roads, overhead power lines and signaling systems, while floods are likely to block escape routes and disrupt railways.

Covid vaccines stopped, patients evacuated

The cyclone comes as India struggles with the devastating second wave of Covid-19, with millions infected across the country in the past month, leaving hospitals without oxygen and drugs. Thousands die every day.

Gujarat has seen a large number of new infections, with more than 8,200 reported on Sunday, according to the state’s Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Vaccinations have been suspended in Gujarat for Monday and Tuesday, and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has asked officials to ensure that electricity supplies to Covid-19 hospitals and other medical facilities are not disrupted and oxygen supplies are maintained, the state government said. Reuters.

“The state government is fully prepared to deal with Cyclone Tauktae,” Rupani said on Monday. “People in 655 villages have been identified in 17 evacuation areas. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated.”

Rupani called on Gujarat residents to “stay indoors, given the possibility of torrential rains along with the cyclone in the state.”

In neighboring Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital and Mumbai’s most populous city, coastal neighborhoods have been put on high alert, the prime minister’s office said on Twitter.

In Mumbai, 580 Covid patients from jumbo centers – the city’s makeshift coronavirus care centers – were transferred to various hospitals before the storm on Friday and Saturday, a statement from the city’s municipal corporation said.

Fishing boats are anchored near the village of Utan before the expected arrival of Cyclone Tauktae on May 16 in Mumbai, India.

The state government said it had also “taken adequate precautions to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity and oxygen to hospitals.”

During the cyclone season in 2020, the Indian authorities organized a number of ambitious evacuation operations, even when the virus complicated the emergency response. Relief teams fought to get people to safety while protecting them from the risk of Covid-19.

On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered senior officials to “ensure special preparedness for the management of Covid in hospitals, cold chain vaccine and other medical facilities for backup power and storage of essential drugs and to plan the unimpeded movement of oxygen tankers,” according to statement.

After drying, the cyclone is expected to lose some of its wind strength, CNN meteorologist Sutter said. But heavy rainfall is still expected to continue in the highlands of northern India.

Gene Norman, Swati Gupta, Akanksha Sharma, Manveena Suri and Derek Van Dam contributed to the report.

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