According to the National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Cyclonic Storm 'Tauktae' (pronounced as Tau’Te) over east central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea moved north-north-westwards with a speed of about 11 kmph during past six hours.
“It is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next six hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 12 hours. It is very likely to move north-north-westward and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around 18th May Afternoon or evening,” the Ministry of Earth Science said in a statement.
On the other hand, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has kept 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters on operational readiness in peninsular India in preparation for the Cyclone Tauktae which is expected to cause very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall along the western coast of India in the next few days.
“One IL-76 aircraft has airlifted 127 personnel and 11 tonnes of cargo from Bhatinda to Jamnagar. A C-130 aircraft has airlifted 25 personnel and 12.3 tonnes cargo from Bhatinda to Rajkot. Two C-130 aircraft have airlifted 126 personnel and 14 tonnes cargo from Bhubaneswar to Jamnagar,” the Ministry of Defence said.
Additionally, IAF Covid relief operations have been focused in these coastal areas for the coming few days, as bad weather is likely to affect air operations later. The cyclone relief operations are in addition to those underway for Covid relief.