Cyclone Tauktae hits India, 180 Indian Army teams prepared to assist

Representative Image of Cyclone

Cyclone Tauktae hit Mumbai with full fury bringing heavy rains, strong gales of over 60-75 km/hr, which wreaked havoc by uprooting scores of trees, damaged some homes, and disrupted road traffic, though there are no human casualties, officials said.

Categorised now as ‘Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm’, its effects were felt shortly after midnight of Sunday-Monday with many areas lashed by heavy rains, accompanied by lightning and thunder in some places, aggravated by powerful winds, as it whirled northwards from Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri towards Raigad-Mumbai en route to the Gujarat coast. 

As a major precautionary measure, the state authorities have already shifted out 7,866 people from vulnerable spots along the coast, besides another around 4,000 in Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Thane, an official said.

Till Monday morning, the city had recorded 8.37 mm rains, 6.53 in eastern suburbs and 3.92 in western suburbs, substantially cooling the weather at the height of mid-summer when Mumbai swelters with the mercury remaining in the upper-30s-to-mid-40s. 
Several roads were littered as at least 30 big and small trees got uprooted in different parts of Mumbai and Thane, during the night, besides minor damage to several homes. 

The cyclone was hovering around 160 kms away from the Mumbai coast and is likely to reach Gujarat by midnight tonight, said the IMD’s latest warning bulletin. It is accompanied by strong winds of 180-190 kmph, gusting to 210 kmph, which is expected to drop gradually over the next 48 hours into a depression with 40-60 kmph windspeeds by Wednesday morning. The IMD has warned of winds of upto 75-100 kmph in Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Thane and Palghar during the day and people have been asked not to venture outdoors. 

The combined effect of the these have resulted in ‘Phenomenal’ waves in the frothy Arabian Sea with tidal waves to reach heights of upto 3 metres and the authorities have completely banned all fishing and other maritime activities for the next few days. 

Owing to these threats by the raging Cyclone, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai has shut all operations for 3 hours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday.

This resulted in at least 3 in-bound flights of private airlines getting diverted to less turbulent locations. A SpiceJet service was diverted to Surat, an IndiGo flight has returned to Lucknow while another IndiGo service was diverted to Hyderabad.

An official spokesperson said that the CSMIA closure move was necessitated in view of the alerts over the Cyclone Tauktae – currently passing by Mumbai with windspeeds of 75-85 kmph – as the storm hurtles to south Gujarat.

Cyclone Tauktae hit Mumbai with full fury around after midnight of Monday (May 17) bringing with it heavy rains, thunder, lightning and powerful gales, wreaking havoc on normal life in the entire coastal region and the country’s commercial capital.

The Indian Army on Monday deployed 180 teams to assist the civil administration in relief and restoration efforts in areas impacted by Cyclone Tauktae.

In anticipation of assisting civil administration in undertaking rescue and relief operations due to severe cyclonic storm ‘Tauktae’, the Indian Army has mobilised columns and Engineer Task Forces (ETF) to the Western Coast from various parts of the Country.

A total 180 teams — three teams in each column — and nine Engineer Task Forces (ETFs) spread over the geographical area are on standby at short notice factoring in all possible contingencies and Covid situation.

The Sector Commanders and Divisional Headquarters are in touch with District Collectors and the Revenue Commissioner who is the nodal agency for Relief activities in Gujarat. The force Focus is to save lives, speedy clearance of routes to ensure movement of oxygen and standby arrangements at Covid hospitals.

With the impending landfall of the extremely severe cyclonic storm forecasted in coastal areas of Gujarat, Indian Army units and formations have prepared themselves with substantial teams along with elements of communication and engineer task forces to provide relief and all kind of assistance following Covid protocols.

“Since the maximum impact is likely to be in Saurashtra including Union Territory of Diu, 10 integrated teams are poised to be employed for Aid to Civil Authority in Diu,” the force said.

Ten teams have been launched to Junagarh area. While others are ready to move on short notice of the State administration after analysis of situation as it builds up.

All units are geared up for impact and all necessary coordination has been carried out with civil administration.

Lt Gen JS Nain, Army Commander Southern Command has assured the full support of the Army to tide over the adverse impact of impending Cyclone.

General officer commanding of the Army Division located at Ahmedabad attended a coordination meeting chaired by the Chief Minister of Gujarat and has assured all support.

The Indian Army is also providing all possible assistance for creating power back up and making preparations for other contingencies at Covid Hospitals in the affected region, including Dhanvantri Covid Hospital Ahmedabad.

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Arushi Sana is the Co Founder of NYK Daily. She was a Forensic Data Analyst previously employed with EY (Ernst & Young). She aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform. Arushi holds a degree in Computer Science Engineering. She is also a Mentor for women suffering from Mental Health, and helps them in becoming published authors. Helping and educating people always came naturally to Arushi. She is a writer, political researcher, a social worker and a singer with a flair for languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her. She believes Yoga and communication can make the world a better place, and is optimistic of a bright yet mysterious future!

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