Cyclone Tauktae: Several dead; PM speaks to Goa, Gujarat CMs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called up the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Goa, and the Lieutenant Governor of Daman and Diu to discuss preparations as the monstrous Cyclone Tauktae continues to wreak havoc in these regions. Earlier in the day, he spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take stock of the situation there. Several people have died in the severe cyclonic storm.
At least 2 died in Maharashtra today
Maharashtra's capital Mumbai and other parts of the state saw intense rainfall and strong winds today. Reportedly, two people died in separate incidents related to the cyclone in the state. A sailor, identified as Rajaram Kadam, died while three others were missing in the Sindhudurg district. Another person died in a rain-related incident in the Raigad district, State Minister Aditi Tatkare tweeted.
Barge with over 250 people onboard went adrift
Earlier in the day, a barge with over 250 people onboard went adrift off the Heera Oil Fields in the Bombay High area. Navy warship INS Kochi was sent for help and all those aboard the barge were said to be safe.
Mumbai Airport shut until at least 8 pm
According to the latest update, operations at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport will remain shut until at least 8 pm today, the airport authority has announced. The Bandra-Worli sea-link also remains closed for traffic in view of the storm. The Mumbai Police has advised people to stay home, and take alternate routes in case of an emergency.
Cyclone to hit Gujarat coast this evening, 1 lakh evacuated
According to the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Tauktae is expected to hit the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva starting 8 pm today. It can lead to heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated parts of the state and winds with speed up to 185 kilometers per hour are also likely. Over 1.5 lakh people living in low-lying areas have been evacuated in Gujarat.
6 died in Karnataka, massive damage in Goa, Kerala
Earlier, the Goa government had said that Cyclone Tauktae uprooted dozens of electric poles and damaged houses in the state. In Karnataka, more than 121 villages and 22 taluks have been affected by the cyclone while at least six people lost their lives there. At least nine districts of Kerala have also been severely hit by the disaster.
What precautions can you take to stay safe?
Stay inside as far as possible and seek shelter in the strongest part of the building/house. Stay away from the windows. If your building starts to break up, protect yourself using mattresses/blankets/rugs under a strong table or bench. Turn off the gas and disconnect electrical appliances to avoid short circuits and damages. Do not go outside until it has been officially advised.