16 May 2021: As Cyclone Tauktae intensifies, 580 COVID-19 patients in Mumbai shifted
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai on Saturday shifted 580 COVID-19 patients from its jumbo units as Cyclone Tauktae is expected to pass by the city later on Sunday.
Tauktae, the first storm to hit the Indian coast this year, intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" earlier on Sunday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated in a bulletin.
Here are more details.
COVID-19: Patients shifted; hospitals asked to plan for power outages
On Saturday night, the BMC shifted 580 patients from BKC (243), Dahisar (183), and Mulund (154) jumbo COVID-19 facilities to state and civic-run hospitals in Mumbai.
Hospitals were asked to avoid last-minute confusion over beds and the availability of oxygen devices on Friday.
On Saturday, hospitals were also asked to keep generators and other alternative systems operational in case of a power outage.
Other precautions: Bandra-Worli Sea Link may be shut
As heavy rains and strong winds are expected to lash Mumbai on Sunday and Monday, the police is considering shutting down the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
The suburban rail services will continue to function.
The BMC has directed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority, and the coastal road department to barricade areas where infrastructure works are in progress.
Other precautions: Authorities prepared to relocate people from low-lying areas
The BMC has also identified low-lying areas where dewatering pumps have been set up.
Authorities have also geared up for the event that people living near low-lying areas need to be relocated.
The BMC has instructed people to not venture out or go near the beaches on Sunday and Monday.
The civic body also pruned over 384 trees near jumbo or field hospitals.
Cyclone: Tauktae likely to pass Mumbai coast later today
According to the IMD, Tauktae intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" at 2:30 am on Sunday.
It lay centered on about 150 kilometers southwest of Panjim-Goa and 490 km south of Mumbai.
It will likely pass the Mumbai coast late Saturday or early Sunday from a distance.
It is expected to cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around early Tuesday morning.
Threat: Mumbai not in direct line of threat
During a review meeting on Saturday morning, the IMD informed the BMC that Mumbai is not in the direct line of the threat of the cyclone.
However, heavy rains and strong winds are expected as the cyclone will pass through the sea near the Mumbai coast.
The IMD has issued a yellow alert for Mumbai and Thane on Sunday.
Fact: NDRF deploys 4 teams in Mumbai, Goa
The Pune-based 5th battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed four teams in Mumbai and Goa. Fourteen other teams have been kept on stand-by. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has assured full support to the state governments.
Also see: Cyclone Tauktae: IMD issues red alert in Kerala districts, Lakshadweep
Cyclone Burevi to cross Pamban soon; alert in TN, Kerala
Cyclone Nivar: Chennai airport shuts operations tonight; trains canceled
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