Cyclone Tauktae to hit Gujarat coast today; Mumbai Airport shut
The ongoing cyclonic storm - Cyclone Tauktae - is highly likely to hit the Gujarat coast between 8 pm and 11 pm today, with gusts of up to 200 kilometers per hour, the weather department has said. The cyclone has already uprooted dozens of villages and claimed several lives in the states of Goa and Karnataka. Here are more updates.
Over 1.5 lakh people shifted from low-lying areas
In view of the impending landfall, the authorities have evacuated 25,000 people from low-lying areas between Porbandar and Mahuva in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district. In all, more than 1.5 lakh have been shifted from low-lying areas in the state as a very heavy rainfall is expected there. Similar warnings have been set off for Junagarh, Gir Somnath, and Amreli.
7,000 fishing boats return to their harbors
Nearly 7,000 fishing boats - 2,200 from Gujarat and 4,500 from Maharashtra - had safely returned to their harbors, ANI reported this morning. Further, over 300 merchant ships have been alerted or re-routed. Meanwhile, the number of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams has been increased to 101 to deal with the operations.
CM asks officials to ensure electric supply to COVID-19 facilities
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has asked officials to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to COVID-19 hospitals as well as other medical facilities in the state. Notably, Gujarat is one of the worst-hit Indian states in the ongoing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 1.11 lakh active cases. The CM has also urged people to stay indoors as far as possible.
Mumbai Airport has been closed for 3 hours
Maharashtra's capital Mumbai saw light rainfall earlier today and the city's airport has been closed for three hours between 11 am and 2 pm as a precautionary measure. The movement of vehicles on the iconic Bandra-Worli sea link remains suspended until further orders and residents have been advised to take alternate routes, if necessary. Mumbai Monorail has also stopped all operations for the day.
At least 4 have lost their lives in the cyclone
Earlier, the Goa government had said the Tauktae Cyclone uprooted dozens of electric poles and damaged houses. In Karnataka, more than 70 villages in several districts have been destroyed while nine districts of Kerala have been severely hit by the disaster. At least four people have died due to the rains and storm triggered by the cyclone, media reports say.