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Very Severe Cyclonic Storm “Tauktae” expected to make landfall over Gujarat coast, India

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Very Severe Cyclonic Storm "Tauktae" is forecast to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva after 18:00 UTC on Monday, May 17, 2021. Tauktae formed on May 14 as the first named storm of the 2021 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.

Heavy rainfall and flash flooding were reported over areas of Kerala, with fishing being banned in the area due to rough seas.

As of 12:00 UTC on May 14, rainfall warnings were imposed in parts of Lakshadweep, Kerala, Tamil Nadu's ghats districts, coastal districts of Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat and Southwestern Rajasthan.

A village in Ernakulam district, Chellanan, Kerala had its homes submerged underwater due to unexpected rain and sea erosion. The administration opened up a relief camp at the local St. Mary's School for the inhabitants of low-lying areas.

6 people have already died due to the storm, of which 2 were in Kerala and 4 in Karnataka.

On the same day, officials warned 'very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall' was expected for Kerala, Karnataka, and Goa districts. Flash floods and landslides were of greatest risk. 

The district of Kottayam, Kerala received 697.8 mm (27.5 inches) in just 24 hours. The water level in all major rivers, including the Meenachil, Pampa and Manimalayar, have reported a sharp rise, although well within the danger mark.

At 06:00 UTC on May 16, the center of  Very Severe Cyclonic Storm "Tauktae" was over the east-central Arabian Sea, about 120 km (75 miles) WSW of Panjim-Goa, 420 km (260 miles) S of Mumbai, and 660 km (410 miles) SSE of Veraval, Gujarat, India.

The storm had a maximum sustained surface wind speed of 130 to 140 km/h (80 – 87 mph), gusting to 155 km/h (95 mph), and was moving N at 10 km/h (6 mph), according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Tauktae is expected to further intensify over the next 24 hours and move NNW and reach the coast of Gujurat in the evening hours of May 17 (LT) and then cross the coast of Gujurat between Porbandar and Mahuva, Bhavnagar district during the early morning hours of May 18 (LT; UTC+5.5), the IMD said in a bulletin released at 06:30 UTC today.

Forecast models

Featured image: Very Severe Cyclonic Storm "Tauktae" on May 16, 2021. Credit: IMD

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