Mumbai: Cyclone Tauktae, which hit the Gujarat coast last evening, has weakened into a “very severe cyclonic storm” from the “extremely severe cyclonic storm”category even as it rages through southern Gujarat on Tuesday morning, claiming three lives.
“The entire eye of the cyclone has now crossed the coast and lies over land. The rear sector of the eye is now entering the land,” the IMD tweeted.
Three people have lost their lives due to Tauktae Cyclone. Around 40,000 trees have fallen and 16,500 huts affected in the state, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.
Officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday said that despite completing over 12 hours since the storm hit land, it continues to maintain a wind speed of 110-120km/hr gusting to 130 km /hr.
Though the ‘eye’ of the storm, or the central region of the cyclone, is slowly disintegrating, the storm has not significantly weakened yet. As a result, gale winds and heavy rain is forecast all through the day on Tuesday over Amreli, Anand, south Ahmedabad, Gir Somnath, Junagarh districts of Gujarat, and adjoining north Maharashtra.
“The system is expected to weaken into the ‘Cyclonic Storm’ by afternoon hours of Tuesday and further weaken into a depression by the end of the day,” said a senior Met official.
Some heavy showers were reported during the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday post the cyclone’s landfall.
Braving the extreme weather, Indian Navy has so far rescued 177 people on board a barge that went adrift in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai hours before Cyclone Tauktae made landfall on the Gujarat coast, an official said on Tuesday.
Navy ships were deployed on Monday after receipt of a request for assistance for barge ‘P305’ adrift off Heera oil fields in Bombay high area with 273 personnel on board. The oil fields are around 70 km southwest of Mumbai.