15 May 2021: Indian Navy assures full support as #CycloneTauktae approaches western coast
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday said cyclone Tauktae—currently centered over Lakshadweep—has intensified into a cyclonic storm.
It is likely to further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Saturday night and hit India's western coastal regions and reach Gujarat by Tuesday.
As the cyclone approaches the western coast, the Indian Navy has assured the state governments of its full support.
Full support: Indian Navy ships, helicopters, aircraft are on standby
Assuring full support to the states on the western coast of the country, a spokesperson for the Indian Navy on Saturday tweeted that ships, helicopters, aircraft, as well as diving and disaster relief teams would be kept on standby.
"Rendering full support to State administrations as Cyclonic Storm Tauktae approaches Western Coast of India," wrote the spokesperson.
Fact: Here's what the Indian Navy spokesperson tweeted
Details: Tauktae would be India's first cyclonic storm this year
"Deep Depression intensified into a Cyclonic Storm "Tauktae" (pronounced as Tau'Te) over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast & east central Arabian Sea: Cyclone watch for south Gujarat & Diu coasts," IMD tweeted Saturday.
Notably, this would be the first cyclonic storm to hit India this year. Also, interestingly, the name "Tauktae" has been suggested by Myanmar; it means gecko in the Burmese language.
Cyclonic activity: Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall predicted for several coastal areas
Tauktae is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm between May 16-19 with a wind speed of 150-160km/hour gusting up to 175km/hour, according to the IMD's Cyclone Warning Division.
IMD officials earlier said the western coastal belt would witness rain or thunderstorms between May 16-18 with some places of the region receiving heavy to extremely heavy rainfall, due to the cyclonic activity.
Gujarat: Meanwhile, bracing for cyclone to make landfall, Gujarat takes precautions
"As of now, there is no prediction whether it will make a landfall on the Gujarat coast...clear picture would emerge only by tomorrow," said Manorama Mohanty, Assistant Director, Meteorological Centre, Ahmedabad.
However, the Gujarat Government has taken necessary precautions and directed Collectors of coastal districts to take required measures for people's safety. All ports in the state warned fishermen against venturing into the sea.
NDRF teams: Over 50 NDRF being deployed to tackle after-effects of cyclone
All ports in Gujarat were also instructed to hoist "Distant Cautionary Signal Number 2" to alert seafarers about Tauktae, said Mohanty.
Meanwhile, 53 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are being deployed to handle possible cyclone after-effects in five states—Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Each NDRF team comprises 40 personnel equipped with tree/pole cutters, boats, basic medical aid, and other relief/rescue equipment.
High-level meeting: PM Modi to review preparations to tackle cyclone Tauktae
PM Narendra Modi is also reportedly scheduled to hold a high-level meeting on Saturday for reviewing the preparations as well as the measures taken to tackle the approaching cyclone Tauktae.
The meeting is expected to be attended by top officers from the concerned central government departments, including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), among others, reported PTI.