Cyclone Tauktae Hits Gujarat

Cyclone Tauktae, which intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm on Monday morning, caused widespread damage to the Konkan coast throughout the day before making landfall in Saurashtra, Gujarat, on Monday night.

Tauktae (pronounced tau-tae) made landfall at speeds in excess of 150 km per hour at 8:30 pm as opposed to an earlier forecast of Tuesday morning due to its rapid intensification, the India Meteorological Department said.

The landfall lasted for roughly two hours, and concluded by 11 pm, it said.

Coastlines of Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat experienced heavy rainfall and strong winds that uprooted several trees, resulting in widespread destruction to property and electricity cuts in these areas.

With the Arabian Sea turning rough midway through the day, high waves caused large swathes of water and floods in some areas.

While rainfall remained heavy to moderate in these regions, strong winds caused most of the damage. In Mumbai, Colaba recorded winds of up to 115 kilometres per hour on Monday afternoon. At that point, the eye of the cyclone was just 142 kilometres from the heart of the city.

At the time of going to press, many coastal regions in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai continued to see heavy rainfall and wind speeds reaching as high as 80 kilometres per hour.

IMD's two main observatories in Mumbai recorded a highly unusual amount of rainfall with Colaba receiving 179 mm of rainfall in 24 hours and Santacruz 169 mm. On average, Mumbai receives only 11.3 mm rainfall in the whole of May.

Meanwhile, Panjim in Goa recorded 227.7 mm of rainfall in 24 hours.

The met department said Tauktae might travel as far as pockets of north India such as Rajasthan and cause moderate rainfall.

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