With Cyclone Tauktae fast approaching the Gujarat coast, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Sunday said that all fishing boats, except 18 in Maharashtra and one in Gujarat, have reached their harbours or taken shelter at nearby ports.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Tauktae has intensified into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and is very likely to reach the Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross it between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district around the early morning of May 18.
“Pre-emptive measures in full swing for Maharashtra & Gujarat. Barring 18 boats from Maharashtra and one boat from Gujarat, all boats have either returned harbour or taken shelter in nearby ports,” the ICG said on Twitter.
The IMD said squally wind with speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely over the northeast Arabian Sea and along and off south Gujarat and Daman and Diu coasts from Sunday morning.
The IMD has also issued a yellow alert for the coasts of Gujarat and Diu and Daman.
According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD, by May 18, the wind speed is expected to increase to 150-160 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 175 kmph.
Wind speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph is likely along and off south Maharashtra-Goa and adjoining Karnataka coasts, and 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph along and off the north Maharashtra coast on May 16. It is likely to increase to 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph along and off the north Maharashtra coast from May 17 till the morning of May 18, the IMD said.