Representational image.

With the Cyclone Tauktae whirls towards the Gujarat coast, Maharashtra is all set to grapple with its impact on the coastal Konkan and some interiors which are likely to be hit by heavy rains and gusty winds.

The entire coastal belt comprising Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg besides Mumbai is in a state of high alert with all rescue and relief agencies are in standby to tackle any eventualities.

The NDRF has deployed 3 teams in Mumbai, 15 in Pune and one in Goa with Cyclone Tauktae now said to be in the Arabian Sea off north Karnataka-south Maharashtra coasts.

However, officials expressed hope that Maharashtra may escape the fury of the cyclone as it is likely to pass around 250 kms in the Arabian Sea, moving at an average speed of 7 kms/hr.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has reviewed the situation and asked the people and the government machinery to be vigilant, rekindling memories of the devastating Cyclone Nisarga that pounded Raigad-Ratnagiri in June 2020, at the height of the pandemic lockdown.

“In a preparatory meeting regarding Cyclone Tauktae on Friday night, Thackeray has instructed all Divisional Commissioners and district Collectors to be vigilant and well-equipped in coastal areas, especially in Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg,” informed an official of the CMO.

Head of SID at the Climate Research and Services Pune, K. S. Hosalikar said that the latest satellite images indicate the system are getting matured and cloud bands are now on coastal north Karnataka, Goa and south Maharashtra also.

For the past three days, a low-pressure area has been rapidly developing over the Lakshadweep Isles and the Arabian Sea, with a powerful Cyclone Tauktae expected to hit the states on the west-coast of India, the IMD said.

The IMD has already put Mumbai and Thane under a Yellow Alert, signifying isolated heavy rains accompanied by strong winds, while an Orange Alert and Red Alert has been issued for several districts of Gujarat and Kerala.

The Cyclone Tauktae will intensify into a full-fledged cyclonic storm on Sunday, causing heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds in southern and western coastal parts of the country, and it is expected to lash Gujarat coast by the morning of May 18.

The storm has already resulted in rainfall in large areas in Lakshadweep Isles, Kerala, parts of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Palghar, with predictions of heavy to very heavy spells in some places and extremely heavy rains in isolated places till Sunday.

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