At least four people have died and 73 villages in six Karnataka districts have been affected due to the impact of Cyclone Tauktae, said an ANI report quoting the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).
The cyclone brewing in the Arabian Sea is predicted to intensify further in the next 24 hours and move north-northwestwards to reach the Gujarat coast on May 17 evening. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone will cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district by early morning of May 18 while tidal waves due to the landfall are expected to inundate coastal districts.
Alerts have been sounded in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa which may get affected by the cyclone. KSDMA said six districts of Karnataka – three coastal districts and three Malnad districts – received heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours due to the cyclone.
“Due to cyclone Tauktae, heavy to extremely heavy rainfall was observed over six districts, three coastal districts and three Malnad districts in the past 24 hours. The rainfall is accompanied by gale winds speed reach 70 to 80 km/hour, gusting at times upto 90 km/per along and off Karnataka Coast. So far, four people have lost their lives, 73 villages affected,” said the KSDMA in a statement issued on Sunday.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tweeted that the government is closely monitoring the situation and he’s in contact with district in-charges and ministers as well as collectors of the affected districts to ensure rescue and relief operations.
The KSDMA said 313 weather stations of the state have recorded more than 64.5 mm rainfall in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru districts from 8.30 am of May 15 to 8.30 am of May 16. Nada station in Kundapura taluk of Udupi district recorded the highest rainfall of 385 mm.
The IMD bulletin on Sunday said the severe cyclonic storm over east central Arabian sea moved northwards with a speed of 11 kmph in the past six hours. At around 5.30 am, the cyclone lay centered about 1 30 km west-southwest of Panjim (Goa), 450 km south of Mumbai, 700 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 840 km southeast of Pakistan’s Karachi, IMD said.
Once the cyclone makes its landfall, it will reach a speed of 120-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph over Devbhoomi, Dwaraka, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar districts while gale winds with a speed of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph are likely to rage along and off Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, southern parts of Ahmedabad and Anand districts and Dadra, Nagar Havelo, Daman from the midnight of May 17 and morning of May 18, IMD said.
While the sea will be ‘very rough to high’ along and off the south Gujarat coast from May 17 morning and ‘very high to phenomenal’ from May 17 midnight, tidal wave of 3 m – 1-2.5 m above the astronomical tide – may inundate coastal areas during the landfall.
The National Disaster Relief Force has deployed 100 rescue teams across the six vulnerable states to handle any eventualities due to the calamity.
The National Disaster Management Authority of Sunday also issued a list of dos and don’ts to help residents manage the impact of the cyclone.