Cyclone Tauktae hits K’taka coast, brings in heavy rainfall

Bengaluru, May 15 (IANS) Cyclone Tauktae has hit the coastal region of Karnataka resulting in heavy rainfall especially in Dakshina Kannada district, where wind speed of around 75 km per hour was recorded, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here on Saturday.
The IMD also predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in few places adjoining Western Ghat region – Belagavi, Chikkamgaluru, Dakshin Kannada, Hassan, Kodagu, Shivamogga, Udupi and Uttar Kannada districts on Sunday.
“Extremely heavy rainfall in few places on Sunday,” the IMD said in its statement released at 12.15 hrs on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the coastal areas of Karnataka are also likely to be bombarded by strong winds. “Squally winds blowing at speeds between 40-60 kmph, gusting up to 60-70 kmph, are likely at the coasts of Karnataka, with gale winds reaching 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmph on the cards come Sunday,” the IMD explained.
The IMD prediction indicates that cyclone Tauktae may further intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm by Saturday evening, and into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm come Sunday evening. By the early hours of Monday, the cyclone could gather maximum sustained surface wind speeds up to 150-160 kmph, gusting to 175 kmph in various parts of the coastal region of Southern India and up to Gujarat’s coast.
On Friday, the IMD had already issued an orange alert over Coastal and South Interior Karnataka. This alert urges residents to ‘be prepared’ for rough weather.
The IMD also predicted that from May 16-19, the Arabian sea depression is very likely to intensify into a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a wind speed of 150-160 kilometres per hour gusting up to 175 kmph, Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said.
Meanwhile, the fishermen have also been advised not to venture into the east-central Arabian Sea, along and off the Karnataka coast, from Friday onwards, uptill the rough sea conditions subside.
The Goa government is gearing up for Cyclonic storm Tauktae which is gathering momentum along the country’s western coast.
While Goa witnessed thunder, lightning and heavy showers on Friday, the Goa branch of the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a severe cyclonic storm from May 15 to May 17 with wind speed in the range of 100 to 175 km per hour.
As the Cyclone Tauktae whirls towards the Gujarat coast, Maharashtra is also preparing to grapple its impact on the coastal Konkan and some interiors which are likely to be affected with heavy rains and gusty winds, officials said here on Saturday.
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 in full preparedness to tackle any eventualities.

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