Bengaluru: The very first cyclone of this year, Cyclone Tauktae, has claimed at least four lives in Karnataka as it hit the three coastal districts of the southern state and its neighbour Kerala, officials said on Sunday. While, “very severe” category cyclone, Tauktae, is moving away from Karnataka coast and is likely to go past Goa by late afternoon while heading north, northwest towards the Gujarat coast.
“The rainfall is accompanied by gale wind speed reaching 70 to 80 km/hour, gusting at times up to 90 km/per along and off [the] Karnataka Coast,” the state government’s disaster management team said in a statement.
The impact of the cyclone is being felt across at least six districts of Karnataka which include Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga, Chikmagalur and Kodagu in the last 24 hours, according to official updates.
The highest rainfall in the last 24 hours was recorded at Nada Station in Kundapura taluk in Udupi district, about 400 kms from Bengaluru. Around 15 stations across the state received over 200 mm of rainfall, said officials.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s office said on Sunday that he took stock of the situation after speaking with district authorities.
“The CM has instructed that whatever emergency assistance is required from the government, they (district administration) can get in touch with incharge ministers or call me directly,” the statement added.
The preliminary damage report indicates coastal erosion caused by the rough sea resulting in damage to coastal roads as well.
Several cases of uprooting of trees, electricity poles and transformers were also reported and at least 73 villages in 17 talukas were impacted, according to official data. The state government said it has so far evacuated 318 persons across the three coastal districts of the state and around 298 are currently housed in relief camps.
Cyclone Tauktae will hit the coastal areas of Goa by late afternoon as it is very likely to keep moving in the north northwest direction, said the India Meteorological Department.
It is very likely to move north-north westwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) around May 18 early morning, the IMD reports said.