Cyclone Tauktae can be among the ‘strongest’ on India’s west coast in 2 decades

Image Credit: Business Line

The first cyclone of 2021 may be here, and quite a storm it can be. Cyclone Tauktae – India’s first major tropical storm this season – is moving northwards in parallel with the country’s western coast, bringing heavy rains, thunderstorms and strong winds to several states, the meteorological department said.

The current characteristics of the storm indicate rapid intensification. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its latest update on the cyclone that a low pressure area had formed in the south eastern Arabian Sea close to Lakshadweep.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an “orange alert” for the western state of Maharashtra which is likely to face heavy rainfall.

It is expected to make land in coastal Gujarat as early as Monday night, bringing wind speeds of approximately 150-160km/h (93-99 mph), the weather bureau added.

But this scenario is changing in a quick and uncertain way due to unusual warming of the Arabian Sea which itself could be a consequence of global warming resulting from the emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.

Four people died on Saturday as torrential rain and winds battered Karnataka state, the disaster management authority said on Sunday.

Several towns and villages were flooded and properties damaged, officials added.

Two others were reported dead and 23 fishermen were feared missing in the neighbouring state of Kerala, local media said.

Up to 75,000 people are set to be evacuated from coastal districts in Gujarat, where a COVID-19 vaccination rollout will be suspended on Monday and Tuesday, officials told AFP.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted moderate to intense spells of rain with gusty winds reaching 90-100 kmph at isolated places in the districts of Raigad, Palghar, Mumbai, Thane and Ratnagiri.Thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas along its western coast as Tauktae is expected to make landfall in Gujarat. IMD DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra informed that the cyclone is very likely to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district.

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