New Delhi [India], May 18 (ANI): 'Extremely' Severe Cyclonic Storm, Tauktae is now weakening into a 'Very' severe cyclonic storm, as per the India Meteorological Department on Tuesday.
A powerful cyclone has battered country's west coast and made landfall in Gujarat on Monday night and the process is likely to continue for three hours, confirmed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as authorities evacuated thousands of people.
In a tweet by the meteorological department, it read, "The 'Extremely' Severe Cyclonic Storm 'Tauktae' weakened into a very severe cyclonic storm and lay centres at 2330 hrs IST of 17th May 2021 over SAURASHTRA, near LAT. 20.9°N and LONG. 71.10°E, about 30 KM northeast of Diu. Rear Sector of the eye wall region is entering into land."
Dubbed an "extremely severe cyclonic storm" by the Indian Meteorological Department, the cyclone, named Tauktae, brought with it wind speeds of 160 to 170 kilometres per hour (99.4 -105.6 miles per hour) with gusts of up to 190 km/h (118 mph), storm surges.
"Cyclone Tauktae update 00 IST 18th May 2021 The entire eye of cyclone has now crossed the coast and lies overland. The rear sector of the eyewall is now entering the land", tweeted IMD.
As many as 11 Indian Navy Diving Teams have been kept on standby and 12 flood rescue teams and medical teams have been earmarked for immediate response and deployment keeping in view of the cyclonic storm Tauktae.
Operations at Ahmedabad's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport shall remain suspended from 7:30 pm on May 17 to 5 am on May 18 in view of the Cyclone Tauktae, informed the Ahmedabad Airport.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting to review the preparedness and assistance being provided by the Armed Forces to civil authorities to tackle the situation arising out of Cyclone Tauktae.
"Three ships (Talwar, Tarkash and Tabar) are on standby with aid and relief material for immediate assistance to affected areas, if required. Balance ships on the Western seaboard are also on standby for assistance to fishing boats/small boats stranded due to rough weather. Navy's Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft on surveillance are continuously broadcasting cyclone warnings to fishermen," the statement further said.
"Indian Air Force has deployed its aircraft to transport personnel and tonnes of a load of NDRF to Ahmedabad. On May 16, IAF had deployed two C-130J and one An-32 aircraft for transportation of 167 personnel and 16.5 tonnes of a load of NDRF from Kolkata to Ahmedabad.
Another C-130J and two An-32 aircraft carried 121 NDRF personnel and 11.6 tonnes of load from Vijayawada to Ahmedabad for the same purpose. Two C-130J aircraft transported 110 personnel and 15 tonnes of cargo for NDRF from Pune to Ahmedabad," it added.
Tauktae is expected to make landfall in Gujarat. IMD DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra informed that the cyclone is very likely to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district. (ANI)