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“Cyclone Tauktae”; 1.5 lakh people are being shifted from low-lying coastal areas

Approximately 1.5 lakh people are being moved from low-lying coastal regions in Gujarat while 54 units of the NDRF and SDRF persisted stationed on Sunday in view of the IMD’s notice that the very critical cyclonic storm Tauktae will approach the state coast on Monday evening and pass it on early Tuesday morning. The government has urged hospitals treating Covid-19 patients to assure a power backup and methods are also being executed to guarantee continuous production of medical oxygen in the eight manufacturing units and its supply.

Armed Forces are also held on standby to administer with any eventuality. “With the cyclone likely to affect power supply, hospitals treating Covid-19 patients have been asked to ensure power back-up. Arrangements have also been made to ensure uninterrupted generation of medical oxygen in the eight manufacturing units and buffer stock is also created,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told reporters after attending a cyclone analysis meeting in Gandhinagar.

The government has also chosen to pause the Covid-19 vaccination initiative on Monday and Tuesday as the health staff will be saved on standby for the next two days to attend to any emergency resulting from the cyclonic storm, he said. “The state government has decided that there should be zero casualty due to the cyclone. We have got time at hand, so people residing in low-lying areas and coastal villages will be relocated by (Sunday) midnight. It is estimated that around 1.5 lakh people will be shifted,” Rupani said.

He said as thatched homes will be hit the most in the cyclone, the government’s preference is to move all the people staying in such houses in the hit regions by Sunday midnight. “As the cyclone will bring heavy rainfall, 44 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), ten teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), as well as teams of the fire brigade, police, and coast guard have been deployed. If required, the Armed Forces will also assist in relief and rescue operations, and have been kept on standby”, Rupani said. He said that as the power supply is going to be interrupted, about 1,500 hospitals attending Covid-19 patients have been urged to make arrangements for power reserve through generators to guarantee that medication is not affected. The arrangement has also been given to assure constant production and supply of oxygen to hospitals, and also to generate a buffer stock, he said. “We are concerned and have ensured through advanced planning that the (Covid-19) patients are not affected due to the disruption in power and oxygen supply,” Rupani said.

In its recent announcement, the India Meteorological Department said Tauktae is very possible to strengthen more during the next 24 hours and reach the Gujarat coast on Monday evening. It will pass the state coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (in Bhavnagar district) around early Tuesday morning. The Met department has notified of heavy to very heavy rains with remote extremely heavy falls in several districts of Gujarat, particularly those in Saurashtra and south Gujarat areas. Some places in Ahmedabad are also expected to get heavy to very heavy rainfall on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, confined places in some districts in north Gujarat will also get heavy to very heavy rainfall, as per the IMD.

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As the cyclone strengthens, the wind velocity along and off Gujarat shores in the districts of Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, and Amreli will reach 150-160 kmph flurrying to 175 kmph by Tuesday morning. It will reach a speed of 120-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph over Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, and Bhavnagar districts of the state during the same period, the IMD said. Gale wind speed approaching 100-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph will prevail over Bharuch, Anand, south Ahmedabad, Botad, and Surendranagar, and 90-100 kmph gusting to 120 kmph over Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Morbi districts from early hours of Tuesday, the department said. Sea condition will become “very rough to high” along and off south Gujarat coast from Monday morning, and “very high to phenomenal” from Monday midnight, it continued.


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