Chennai: With very severe cyclonic storm ‘Tauktae’ (pronounced Tau’te) predicted to make landfall near the Gujarat Coast on Tuesday, May 18th morning, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has confirmed that it has ensured that safe return of 5,600 boats, rescued six personnel and rerouted 335 merchant vessels. With the storm having crossed the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Lakshadweep islands on India’s West Coast, the maritime force has said that there has been nil loss of life at sea. The Coast Guard also added that their pre-emptive measures are focused on Maharashtra and Gujarat, which are expected to bear the brunt of the landfall.
Based on information from the fisheries authorities of the respective states, the Indian Coast Guard has said that all boats were accounted for and are safely tucked in harbour, while response operations for Tug Alliance and MV Coromandel, both off the coast of Karnataka are underway.
ICG Remote Operating Stations are constantly relaying weather alert messages in Indian languages on MMB radio for the seafarers and fishermen. In addition to this, Navtex warnings are being issued regularly and the International safety Net (ISN) has been activated to alert the vessels in and transiting through the area. Ships at anchorage have also been advised to take shelter and necessary safety measures. Port authorities, Oil rig operators, Shipping, fisheries authorities and fishermen associations have been forewarned about the cyclone and a close liaison and coordination for the safety of these platforms are being maintained.
According to the agency, 40 Coast Guard Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) with inflatable boats, Lifebuoys and lifejackets are on standby all along the western coast for undertaking Disaster response operations. Medical teams & ambulances have also been kept on standby for swift mobilization.
Right from May 11th, when there were indications of a storm forming near the Lakshadweep region, ICG had geared up its preparation towards the preventive and response measures on the Western coast including Lakshadweep islands as well as the adjacent coastal states. All the ashore, afloat and aviation units were put on high alert and by the time ‘Tauktae’ (as the storm is known), eventually formed in Lakshadweep seas, ICG Ships and aircraft had already alerted fishing boats as well as merchant vessels in the possible route of the storm. The massive deployment of ICG assets towards preventive measures for cyclone ‘Tauktae’ has translated into 37 ship days and 75 aircraft hours at sea, said the Coast guard.