Cyclone Tauktae turned into a deadly cyclonic storm leaving behind scenes of destruction along the western coast of India especially Gujarat. The cyclone claimed 45 lives in the state of Gujrat. 15 deaths were reported in Amreli district in Saurashtra Region which is also the worst affected region as the cyclone turned into a severe cyclonic storm on its landfall at around 1 am on Tuesday.
Eight deaths were reported in the coastal regions of Bhavnagar and Gir Somnath. Five deaths were reported in Ahmedabad, two in Kheda and one in Anand, Vadodara, Surat, Valsad, Rajkot, Navsari, and Panchmahal said, officials. Many of the deaths due to wall collapse and the falling of trees. As cyclones also uprooted trees on largescale in Mumbai. The BMC said between the 16th and 18th of May 812 tree falls were reported in the city. The majority of these tree falls were in private spaces.
The cyclone led to the sinking of ONGC barrage P305 which is 35 nautical miles of the coast of Mumbai that left at least 26 dead and dozens missing at the sea. The Indian navy immediately launched a search and rescue operation. There are reports that the number of people unaccounted for is between 49 and 65. The top wind speed was said to be around 130 mph. The Indian Navy said Barrage P305 sunk when it was caught in the storm with wind speeds of around 95-111 mph of the coast of Mumbai.
A survivor from Barge P305, Amit Kumar Kushwaha, told ANI news agency: “I jumped into the sea with a life jacket after our vessel began sinking; I was in the water for almost 11 hours and was rescued by the navy.” Another survivor said “I got injured when the barge was hit by wave after wave and was thrown into the sea. I am alive only because the navy came otherwise all of us would have died.” Captain Sachin Sequeira, the commanding officer of the Indian warship INS Kochi said: “We got distress signals from Barge P305, which is approximately 35-40 miles off the Mumbai coast. Our ship sailed under very difficult circumstances. We are still looking out for personnel in the areas. We should all be optimistic.”
The Indian Navy has so far rescued 184 people with navy’s Helicopters, Aircraft, Naval ships involved in rescue operations.
Cyclone Tauktae also caused heavy damage to roads, power lines, and homes in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujrat. The authorities have said the Indian Navy and Coast guard have launched one of the biggest rescue operations to save people caught in the disastrous storm. And so far the Navy and the Coastguard have rescued 637 people to safety.
The waves caused by Cyclone Tauktae are said to be around 9 to 10 meters. 101 workers of Sagar Bhushan oil rig, 137 workers of gal constructors, and 202 workers of Barrage SS03 were towed to safety. ONGC in its official statement released said, “ONGC is taking all possible measures in coordination with the Offshore Defence Advisory Group and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre to ensure the safety of personnel and vessels.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Gujarat and took an aerial survey of the areas in Gujarat and Union Territory of Diu affected by the cyclonic storm. The Prime Minister assessed the destruction caused by Cyclone Tauktae. Prime Minister Modi announced Rs.1000 crore relief package for resources needed for immediate relief and assistance to affected people. He also announced Rs. 200,000 ex-gratia to the next of kin of the people who lost lives in the deadly cyclone. He also announced Rs. 50,000 for those injured in the cyclone.
Undertook an aerial survey over parts of Gujarat and Diu to assess the situation in the wake of Cyclone Tauktae. Central Government is working closely with all the states affected by the cyclone. pic.twitter.com/wGgM6sl8Ln
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 19, 2021
While the people living in the western coastal region of India overcome the tragedy and destruction caused by cyclone Tauktae the Indian Meteorological Department has said there is a severe cyclone formation in the Bay of Bengal which is named Cyclone Yass. The IMD said Cyclone Yass is set to make landfalls in Odisha and West Bengal on 26-27 May.
An official at the cyclone warning department of IMD has said, “It is very likely to intensify gradually into a cyclonic storm during the subsequent 72 hours. It is very likely to move north-westwards and reach West Bengal-Odisha coasts around 26th May evening.” Also, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and states of Meghalaya, Assam, Odisha, and West Bengal will witness light to moderate rainfall leading up to the Cyclones Landfall. The central government is expected to update on preparation for rescue and preventive measures being taken soon.
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