Cyclone Tauktae, which is expected to hit India's coastal state Gujarat on Tuesday and parts of Pakistan on Wednesday, is likely to intensify and enter the "severe storm" category, says the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
As of Saturday morning, the cyclone is over the island of Lakshadweep, off the southwestern coast of India in the Arabian Sea.
Cyclonic Storm “Tauktae” (pronounced as Tau’Te) over eastcentral and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea: Cyclone Alert for Gujarat & Diu coasts (Yellow message) pic.twitter.com/fmcTMVmrjg— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 15, 2021
As per the meteorological department forecast, the storm is set to intensify into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' over the next 12 hours, with the wind speed reaching 150 to 160 km/h by 17 May.
Deep Depression over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast & eastcentral Arabian Sea about 55 km north-northwest of Amini https://t.co/LspHbP5HLs intensify into a Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hrs. To move north-northwestwards and reach near Gujarat coast by 18th May morning. pic.twitter.com/fZBB7WGBlx— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 14, 2021
Although the cyclone is expected to make landfall over Gujarat and the Union Territory Daman and Diu on Tuesday, it is likely to cause extreme rainfall in other states too, including Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra.
About 50 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on alert. Fishermen have been asked to avoid heading to the Arabian Sea until Tuesday, tourism activities have been restricted, and necessary precautions have been advised for naval operations in anticipation of the rough sea.
#CycloneTauktae UPDATE— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) May 14, 2021
🔸53 #NDRF teams committed
🔸24 teams pre-deployment
🔸29 teams standby-ready
🔸For 5 states
🔸Guj,Maharashtra @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @PIBHomeAffairs @BhallaAjay26 @ANI @PIBTvpm @PIBBengaluru @PIBAhmedabad @PIBMumbai pic.twitter.com/1ZBvE9YVIS
The Indian Navy, in a tweet, said that their teams are on standby for "rendering full support to state administrations as the cyclonic storm approaches western coasts".
#CycloneTauktae— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) May 14, 2021
Deep depression 240 Nm NW off Kochi on 14th evening very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm Tauktae by 15th morning#IndianNavy ships, aircraft, helicopters, diving and disaster relief teams standby... (1/2)@SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/mJRLb9fgyk
Local state media reports also confirmed that people living around the disaster-prone areas had been relocated to the relief camps as a precautionary measure.