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Cyclone “Tauktae” Forming Over The Arabian Sea, May Hit Gujarat Coast

by Raju Vernekar
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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, May 15:

The cyclone “tauktae” forming over the Arabian sea is likely to impact many Indian states including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Lakshadweep island, and heavy to very heavy rainfall with gusty winds for the next two to three days, has been forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The cyclone is expected to continue to move north-north westwards for some more time with further intensification and the areas like Lakshadweep, the coast of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra are likely to be impacted. It is expected to change its course towards Kutch and South Pakistan, indicating that the coastal areas of Gujarat might be hit by the cyclone on May 17 or 18. If this formation occurs then it will be named “Tauktae”, the word suggested by Myanmar, which means gecko, a lizard known for its distinctive vocalizations.
Updates on Cyclone “Tauktae”
As per IMD, the wind speed of 40-50 km per hour is likely to intensify to 70 km per hour on Saturday and may reach 80 km per hour by Sunday. Till May 19, it is likely to intensify into a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a wind speed of 150-160 kilometers per hour gusting up to 175 kmph, the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said. The Lakshadweep Islands will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places on Saturday and heavy falls at isolated places on Sunday. The squally wind with 40-50 kmph to 60 kmph are very likely to prevail over the Comorin Maldives area on Saturday.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has earmarked 53 teams to tackle possible after-effects of cyclone ‘Tauktae’. Taking to Twitter, NDRF Director General S.N. Pradhan said that these teams are being deployed in the coastal regions of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Out of the 53 teams, 24 have been pre-deployed or stationed on the ground while the rest are on stand-by.
A ‘Red’ alert has been issued in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, and Pathanamthitta districts (Kerala) and Lakshadweep. An ‘Orange’ alert, indicating intermittent heavy rainfall, has been issued in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Idukki (Kerala).
In Maharashtra despite prior warning some of the fishermen ventured into the sea and now 277 fishing boats have been trapped in deep-sea around the Raigad coast. The efforts are on to bring them back to the shore, Assistant Fisheries Commissioner Suresh Bharti told the “Transcontinental Times” adding that these fishermen are from Alibaug, Murud, and Uran talukas of Raigad.
According to the IMD, 64.5 mm to 115.5 mm rainfall in 24 hours is considered heavy, while precipitation between 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm in 24 hours is termed as very heavy rainfall. Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts (Konkan region) of Maharashtra and Goa are expected to receive heavy to very heavy falls on Saturday and Sunday. The ghat districts of Tamil Nadu are expected to witness light to moderate rainfall at many places and heavy to very heavy to extremely heavy falls at isolated places on Saturday. The coastal and adjoining ghat districts of Karnataka are likely to receive light to moderate rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy to extremely heavy falls at isolated places on Sunday.
K S Hosalikar, Scientist- G, Head SID, Climate Research & Services, IMD, Pune tweeted “ This could be season’s first cyclone in the Arabian Sea when it forms on around Saturday morning. The observation over the Arabian Sea indicates clouds over the southeast Arabian Sea, Maldives, and Lakshadweep”.
Pre-monsoon cyclones
2019: Cyclone “Vayu” moved parallel to the coast and then later weakened just before landfall in Gujarat. 2020: “Nisarga” hit Maharashtra in June. 2021: Cyclone “Tauktae”, a low-pressure area that has concentrated into a depression and later will develop a cyclone. It is likely to move towards Gujarat.
Monsoon over Kerala likely on May 31
The onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala is likely to be on May 31, IMD stated adding that it is difficult to say when the monsoon will reach Maharashtra. Conditions will get clear after the dissipation of the cyclonic storm currently over the Arabian Sea. In the meanwhile, Pune received 0.9 millimeters of rainfall in Shivajinagar and traces of rain at Lohegaon and Pashan on Friday.

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