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Cyclone Tauktae: Extremely severe cyclonic storm likely to hit Gujarat by evening

Cyclone Tauktae: Extremely severe cyclonic storm likely to hit Gujarat by evening

Cyclone Tauktae: Thousands have been evacuated from low-lying areas between Porbandar and Mahuva in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district. Warnings have been issued in Junagarh, Gir Somnath and Amreli

Cyclone Tauktae turns extremely severe Cyclone Tauktae turns extremely severe

An 'extremely severe cyclonic storm' Cyclone Tauktae is 'very likely' to hit Gujarat this evening. The cyclonic storm is currently 160 km southwest of Mumbai. The weather department is predicting winds of up to 200 km per hour.

In anticipation of Cyclone Tauktae, thousands have been evacuated from low-lying areas between Porbandar and Mahuva in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district. Warnings have been issued in Junagarh, Gir Somnath and Amreli. More than 1.5 lakh people have been moved so far. Very heavy rainfall and maximum sustained surface wind speed of up to 190 km per hour is being expected.

In Bharuch and South Ahmedabad, wind speed warnings of 120-140 km per hour with gusts up to 165 km per hour have been issued, while wind speed warnings of 90-100 km per hour with gusts up to 120 km per hour have been issued in Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Morbi and Kheda for early Tuesday.

Officials are expecting damages from Cyclone Tauktae. Kutch, Jamnagar, Valsad, Surat and Vadodara, and interior parts of Ahmedabad district are expected to suffer major damages to thatched and mud houses, embankments, salt pans, coastal crops and trees. Power and communication lines are also likely to be damaged.

As many as 7,000 fishing boats -- 2,200 from Gujarat and 4,500 from Maharashtra -- have safely returned to their harbours. Over 300 merchant ships have been alerted or re-routed.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani urged people to stay indoors and also to ensure electricity supply COVID-19 hospitals and other medical facilities.

According to the National Disaster Response Force head SN Pradhan, 65 NDRF teams have been pre-deployed across coastal areas that are expected to be hit. Ten quick response medical teams and five public health response teams, with stocks of emergency medicines, have also been deployed.

The weather department expects moderate to intense spells of rain with winds in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar and Ratnagiri.  Rainfall alerts have also been issued in the Konkan regions, Goa, as well as parts of Rajasthan.

Also read: Cyclone Tauktae to intensify further; here's the list of Do's and Dont's

Also read: Cyclone Tauktae: Maharashtra prepared to ensure oxygen, power supply to COVID-19 hospitals