Tauktae weakens further, major flooding threats remain.
Tauktae has weakened further over the past 12 hours as it slowly makes its way northward from its initial landfall spot yesterday, its currently 35 km southwest of Surendranagar and 105 km south-southwest of Ahmedabad. As of 12:00 UTC Force thirteen has downgraded the storm into a 60 mph (97 kph) tropical storm (1-minute winds) with a central pressure of 982 Mb, the India Meteorological Department has also downgraded the storm into a 50 mph (83 kph) cyclonic storm (3-minute winds). Both Force Thirteen and the IMD expects the storm to weaken further in the next 2 days until it’s no longer recognizable as a tropical cyclone.
As of 19:30 IST over 20 people have been confirmed dead as a direct result of Tauktae with over 100 still listed as missing, offshore the Indian navy and coast guard are working together to search and rescue anyone that has become stranded out at sea during the cyclone’s passage with 314 being rescued off of Mumbai and another 16 being rescued off of Veraval in Gujarat.
Throughout the past 24 hours, Gujarat’s Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has kept a watchful eye on the cyclone’s effects on his state spending most of that 24 hours at the State Emergency Operations Centre in Gandhinagar staying in contact with field officers in the affected districts. He told reporters that despite such an intense cyclone hitting Gujarat for the first time in over 2 decades, the state government has managed to prevent any major loss to the life or property after spending the days before the cyclone’s arrival taking every needed step to prepare for its impacts.
Despite that, there’s no denying that Gujarat has been hit hard by the storm’s passage over the last few days. Places like Ahmedabad have been lashed by strong gusts of winds and torrential rains throughout all of today.
This is something else indeed! Blind rain in #Ahmedabad with torrential winds.#CycloneTauktae #AhmedabadRain #Gujarat #GujaratRains@SkymetWeather @lovelyweather_ @WeAhmedabad @shubhamtorres09 pic.twitter.com/V7ArjkrtM4
— Bhavik Bamania | #AhmedabadRain (@bhavikbamania) May 18, 2021
In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has stated that over the last 24 hours it received reports of 2,364 tree fall, 56 water-logging, 43 house or wall collapse, 39 short-circuit and two boat accidents. Their automatic weather station also recorded that over 12 inches (300 mm) of rainfall has fallen on some spots in the city.
Meanwhile, in Karachi, Pakistan the storm’s influence has brought a rather unexpected effect on the city’s residents as huge dust storms with strong gusts of winds lashed the city followed by light rain falling in some areas within the city.
Despite weakening further and further, it’s important to remember that Tauktae still poses a major flooding threat to the region as it slowly moves northeastward across Rajasthan to west Uttar Pradesh. Over 5 inches (125 mm) of rainfall could still fall on the region in the next few days more than enough to cause floods and landslides and thus it is prudent for everyone in the region to keep their guard up until the storm’s remnants dissipate completely early next week.
Featured image by INSAT-3DR