Cyclone Tauktae: Gujarat's coastal areas plunge into darkness

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Ahmedabad, May 17 (PTI) Towns and villages plunged into darkness due to power outages and several trees and electric poles were uprooted in areas near Gujarat's coast as cyclone 'Tauktae' began making a landfall on Monday night, bringing along with it very strong winds and heavy rainfall.

Authorities snapped power supply in many areas of the worst affected coastal districts of Gir Somnath, Amreli, Junagadh, and Bhavnagar among others in advance as a precautionary measure, while in other areas, blackout was caused as soon as the cyclone started making a landfall.

There were no immediate reports of casualties though the cyclone battered the coastal districts.

The very severe cyclonic storm began making landfall on Gujarat's Saurashtra coast near Diu on Monday night.

'The landfall process of extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae has started as forward sector of eye of the storm is entering the Saurashtra coast to the east of Diu,' the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Several electricity poles fell due to the strong winds. In Talala in Gir Somnath district, a mobile tower crashed, officials said.

A large number of trees were uprooted and they blocked several roads as the wind blowing at a very high speed battered the coastal areas, they said.

In one incident, a large tree fell on a house in Una town of Gir Somnath district, causing minor damage to the structure, they said.

A rescue team immediately reached the spot and chopped off the branches, the officials said.

Army personnel rushed to clear roads that were blocked due to uprooted trees in Sasan Gir and Diu, among other places.

The cyclone also caused damage to standing cropsin the affected areas, they said.

Popular Kesar variety of mangoes suffered damage due to strong wind in Gir Somnath and Junagadh districts, where they are mainly grown, the officials said.

All major highways leading up to Somnath and Diu were blocked by the authorities to prevent any major accident, which caused a long queue of heavy vehicles like trucks and tankers, they said.

At several places, roofs of thatched houses were blown away by high-speed winds. PTI KA PD RSY RSY