New Delhi: Cyclone Tauktae on Monday (May 17, 2021) left a trail of destruction and damaged several structures, electricity lines, and uprooted trees in Maharashtra as it moved over the coastal state. 

The gusty winds had reached the speed of over 114 kmph and heavy showers lashed the state’s capital Mumbai and its neighbouring areas as the ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ passed close to the coast while moving towards Gujarat.

As per the latest reports, at least two persons are feared drowned in the rough sea in two separate incidents in Mumbai. 

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated that during the day, 479 complaints of falling of trees and branches were received from across Mumbai. Of these, 245 complaints were received from Western suburbs, followed by 156 from the Island city and 78 from the Eastern suburbs.

The civic body also informed that its automatic weather stations recorded an average of 105.44 mm rainfall in the island city till 5 pm, while the eastern and western suburbs recorded 61.13 mm and 114.78 mm rainfall, respectively.

The Mumbai Met department recorded 189 mm rainfall at Colaba observatory while rainfall of 194 mm was recorded at Santacruz till 5.30 pm.

The civic H-East ward in the western suburbs received the highest 242 mm rainfall during the day. Chincholi area in Malad and K-East ward that includes Marol and Andheri East areas recorded 236 mm and 231 mm rainfall, respectively.

The Bandra-Worli sea link was also closed for traffic in view of the strong winds and people were asked to take alternate routes.

According to civic officials, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Navy were on alert as Cyclone Tauktae intensified to a very severe cyclonic storm and was passing close to Mumbai.

Six flood rescue teams of the Mumbai fire brigade were deployed at chowpatties and five temporary shelters each were kept ready in 24 civic wards of the city to shift citizens there if required. 

The Indian Navy confirmed on Tuesday (May 18) morning that they have so far rescued 132 people on board a barge that went adrift in the Arabia Sea near Mumbai, hours before with winds gusting up to 185 km per hour made landfall on the Gujarat coast.

The Navy has deployed the P-8I long-range, multimission maritime patrol aircraft to join the search and rescue operations. Three frontline Navy warships (INS Kolkata, INS Kochi and INS Talwar) were also deployed on Monday after receiving messages to rescue 410 people on board two barges off the Mumbai coast.

Meanwhile, videos and pictures of the aftermath of Cyclone Tauktae in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Kerala and Karnataka are being shared on social media platforms. 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday morning said that Cyclone Tauktae has weaken into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’. 

(With agency inputs)

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