Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm "Tauktae" has started to make landfall over the coast of Saurashtra, between Diu and Una, Gujarat, India at around 15:00 UTC on May 17, 2021. This is the first named storm of the 2021 North Indian Ocean cyclone season and the strongest to hit Gujarat since 1998. More than 200 000 people were evacuated ahead of landfall.
"The forward sector of the eye is entering into the land. The center of the cyclone will cross the Saurashtra coast to the east of Diu within the next 3 hours. Outer cloud band lies over Saurashtra," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said 15:46 UTC.
At the time of landfall, the system had maximum intensity near the center of 165 – 175 km/h (100 – 110 mph), gusting to 195 km/h (120 mph), according to the IMD.
At 11:00 UTC, Takutae's maximum 3-minute sustained winds were 195 km/h (120 mph), gusting up to 215 km/h (130 mph). Maximum 1-minute sustained winds were at 215 km/h (130 mph).
The system's central barometric pressure was 950 hPa.
It was moving N at 13 km/h (8.1 mph).
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is continuing over north Konkan, including Mumbai, and will continue for the next 12 hours,
Rainfall reported from 03:00 to 12:00 UTC today: Mumbai (Colaba) 189 mm (7.44 inches), Santacruz 194 mm (7.63 inches), Alibag 105 mm (4.13 inches), and Dahanu: 73 mm (2.87 inches).
Tidal wave above astronomical tide is likely to inundate coastal areas as per details below:
~3 – 4 m (10 – 13 feet) over Anand and Amreli, Gir Somnath, Diu, Bhavnagar,
2 – 3 m (6 – 10 feet) over Bharuch, southern parts of Ahmedabad,
1 – 2 m (3 – 6 feet) over surat, Navsari, Valsad,
0.5 – 1 m (1.5 – 3 feet) over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat during the time of landfall.
The system claimed the lives of 6 people in India and 4 in Sri Lanka before making landfall.
At least 24 people were killed (12 in Maharashtra, 8 in Karnataka, and 4 in Gujarat) after the landfall and 96 others are missing, as of 07:50 UTC on Tuesday morning, May 18.
A vessel (Barge P305) with 273 people aboard drifted away off Mumbai's coast on Monday and sank early Tuesday. The aerial search commenced at first light, the Indian Navy officials said. 177 people were reportedly rescued as of Tuesday morning.
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani said the storm downed around 40 000 trees and affected 16 500 huts.
According to IMD Mumbai center, the Santacruz observatory, representative of the city's suburbs, recorded 230.3 mm (9.06 inches) of rainfall in 24-hours to 08:30 IST (04:00 UTC). This is Mumbai's highest 24-hour downpour on record.
The Colaba observatory in south Mumbai recorded 207.6 mm (8.17 inches) of rain during the same period while Bagasara, Gujarat recorded 212 mm (8.34 inches).
Tauktae weakened into a cyclonic storm at 07:00 UTC and was located about 180 km (112 miles) SW of Ahmedabad, 105 km (65 miles) S of Surendranagar, and 40 km (25 miles) ENE of Amreli, according to an hourly bulletin issued by IMD at 08:10 UTC (12:40 LT).
The cyclone had winds up to 90 km/h (56 mph), gusting to 100 km/h (62 mph) at the time. Tauktae was moving NE at 7 km/h (4.3 mph).
IMD forecasters expected it to move NNE and weaken into a deep depression during the next 6 hours.
Some 16 500 homes were damaged in Gujarat and power was cut for millions in the affected region.
The death toll rose to 118 on May 20, with 37 confirmed deaths from a barge that sank off Mumbai and 81 more in other parts of India's western coast.
Featured image: Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm "Tauktae" at 14:45 UTC on May 17, 2021. Credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW
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