Cyclone Tauktae intensifies off of India’s west coast.
Cyclone Tauktae has continued to organize and intensify over the past 12 hours. Tauktae is currently 137 miles (220 km) South-southwest of Panjim-Goa. As it stands; Force Thirteen now has the system as a 75 mph (120 kph) making it a category 1 hurricane equivalent cyclone (1-min winds) with a central pressure of 979 Mb, while the India Meteorological Department currently has the system as a 60 mph (102 kph) severe cyclonic storm (3-min winds). In terms of forecasted peak intensity, both Force Thirteen and the IMD has stayed at their previous prediction with Force Thirteen still forecasts a 1-minute winds peak of 145 mph (233 kph) and the IMD still forecasts a 3-minute winds peak of 100 mph (160 kph).
Over the past 24 hours, the situation on the Southwestern coast of India has continued to worsen as Tauktae continues to intensify just offshore. In Kerala, local authorities are trying their best to limit the cyclone’s effects with the opening of more relief camps, opening the gates of 11 dams, and evacuating more people from the low lying areas just a few of their efforts across the state.
Even then, the intensifying storm is starting to show its real destructive potential with many reports of damages being published over the course of today. The reports of scores of houses being damaged, trees being uprooted and power supply disruptions for hours are just a small fraction of what has filtered in from across the region over the past 24 hours. Nothing is spared, not even the state’s landmarks could withstand the cyclone’s power with the Valiyathura pier, one of the oldest piers in the state developing a crack in the strong winds which hit the shores.
Meanwhile in Gujarat, where Tauktae is forecasted to make landfall as a strong cyclone Chief Minister Vijay Rupani ensures that his state is taking the needed steps to prepare for the strong winds and high storm surge that the cyclone could bring.
“The state government has made full preparations and a control room has been set up. Administrations of the districts in Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions, which are likely to be affected by the cyclone, have been alerted. Teams of the NDRF are reaching the state, and they will be deployed,” Said Rupani to reporters in Banaskantha district.
In response to the ever-developing situation, the National Disaster Response Force has upped the number of teams allocated to managing the effects of Tauktae across the 6 affected states from 53 to 100. of the additional teams, 42 are being pre-deployed or stationed on the ground in the six affected states while the other 26 are being put on standby.
Regardless of the government’s efforts, it is important for everyone who lives in the potential impact zones of Tauktae to be aware of the storm’s progress and its possible dangers as this is a life-threatening situation that needs to be taken seriously.
Featured image by INSAT 3D