All fishing boats returned to Maha, Gujarat ports: Coast Guard

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The Indian Coast Guard said on Sunday that all fishing boats reached their harbours in Maharashtra and Gujarat in view of the impending Cyclone Tauktae.

According to the India Meteorological Department, Tauktae has intensified into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' and is very likely to reach the Gujarat coast in the evening hours of Monday and cross it between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district around the early morning of Tuesday.

'Through effective and constant liaison with fisheries department and timely weather alerts to fishermen by the ICG ships and aircraft, all 4,526 fishing boats of Maharashtra and 2,258 boats of Gujarat which were out at sea, have safely returned to harbour,' the Coast Guard tweeted.

Earlier, it said all fishing boats -- except 18 from Maharashtra and one from Gujarat -- either returned to harbour or taken shelter at nearby ports.

The IMD said stormy winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely over the northeast Arabian Sea, and along and off south Gujarat and Daman and Diu coasts from Sunday morning.

It has also issued a yellow alert for the coasts of Gujarat and Diu and Daman.

According to the cyclone warning division of the IMD, the wind speed is expected to increase to 150-160 kilometres per hour by May 18, gusting up to 175 kmph.

Wind speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph is likely along and off south Maharashtra-Goa and adjoining Karnataka coasts, and 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph along and off the north Maharashtra coast on May 16.

It is likely to increase to 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph along and off the north Maharashtra coast from May 17 till the morning of May 18, the IMD said. PTI DSP DIV HMB

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