PM Modi to hold meeting with top officials, NDMA and NDRF representatives to review preparedness for Cyclone Tauktae
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will hold a meeting with top government officials and representatives from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to review preparations against the approaching Cyclone Tauktae.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) earlier on Saturday said that the cyclonic storm Tauktae has formed over the east-central and adjoining south-east Arabian sea and issued an yellow cyclone alert for the Gujarat and Diu coasts. "Deep Depression intensified into a Cyclonic Storm “Tauktae” (pronounced as Tau’Te) over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast & eastcentral Arabian Sea: Cyclone watch for south Gujarat & Diu coasts," the IMD has tweeted.
IMD also forecasted that the cyclone would reach near Gujarat coast on the morning of May 18. “Deep Depression over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast & eastcentral Arabian Sea about 55 km north-northwest of Amini http://Divi.To intensify into a Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hrs. To move north-northwestwards and reach near Gujarat coast by 18th May morning,” the weather body said in a subsequent tweet.
Response agencies such as the NDRF and the NDMA have been preparing to tackle the situation. The NDRF has said that 53 team have been committed to handle cyclone Tauktae of which 24 teams have been pre deployed and 29 teams have been kept on standby. The deployments have been made across five states namely, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) on Saturday issued an ‘Orange’ alert to the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, warning of a severe flood situation. The CWC bulletin said that three rivers -- Manimala and Achankovil in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district and Kodaiyar in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu -- continued to flow in ‘Severe Situation’ as of 8am on the day.
Meanwhile, state governments are also making preparations to handle the situation. Kerala’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that nine NDRF teams have been deployed in the state as a measure of precaution. “According to the IMD, the low-pressure area in the south-eastern Arabian Sea has intensified into a severe depression. Even though Kerala is not in the predicted path of the cyclone, heavy rains, strong winds and strong sea gusts are expected in the State till May 16,” news agency ANI quoted Vijayan as saying in a press briefing.
Earlier on Saturday, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray also tweeted that “In a prep meeting regarding Cyclone Tauktae, CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray instructed the District Administration, Divisional Commissioners & District Collectors to be vigilant & well equipped in coastal areas, especially of Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri & Sindhudurg.”
The IMD in its bulletin on Saturday morning also suggested total suspension of fishing operations over east central and adjoining south east Arabian sea and along the coasts of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.