In a boost for the nation’s preparedness against the likely impact of cyclone Tauktae, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had deployed 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters in a state of operational readiness, Economic Times.
The IAF has also decided to focus on COVID-19 relief operations in the coastal areas over the next few days as bad weather is likely to affect air operations later on.
One of IAF’s IL-76 transport aircraft has already moved 127 personnel and 11 tonnes of cargo from Bathinda to Jamnagar. Similarly, one of IAF’s C-130 aircraft has airlifted 25 personnel and 12.3 tonnes of cargo from Bathinda to Rajkot. Another two C-130 aircraft have airlifted 126 personnel and 14 tonnes to cargo from Bhubaneswar to Jamnagar.
The measures taken by IAF gain significance as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the cyclone is expected to touch the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around the afternoon or evening of 18 May with a wind speed of up to 15 kilometres per hour.
The cyclone is likely to unleash heavy rainfall in Gujarat’s coastal districts. Districts like Junagarh and Gir Somnath are expected to witness extremely heavy rainfall, while districts like Saurashtra, Kutch, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Amreli, Rajkot and Jamnagar are expected to very heavy rain as per the IMD.