MUMBAI: Gusty winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belt of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa as Cyclone Tauktae moved northwards towards Gujarat on Sunday, leaving four people dead, damaging hundreds of houses, uprooting electricity poles and trees and forcing an evacuation. An estimated 1.5 lakh people were shifted from low-lying coastal areas in Gujarat, while 54 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in the state.
Maharashtra too was bracing for impact as the Met department predicted heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places in north Konkan, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar and extremely heavy rainfall in Raigad. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Tauktae which has taken the form of a “very severe cyclonic storm” is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours and reach the Gujarat coast on Monday evening.
As the Cyclone Tauktae intensified on Sunday, heavy rains with strong winds occurred along the Rajapur coastline here, forcing the evacuation of 289 people, while a train narrowly escaped an accident. At about 1230hrs, cyclone moved towards Rajapur coastline and in Sangne, Nate, Jaitapur, Abolgad, Musakazi villages in this tehsil heavy rainfall with winds lashing at present. Total 254 peoples of 68 families in Abolgad and 35 of seven games in Musakazi, were migrated to safe places.
Mane houses In Jaitapur and Nate areas, were collapsed and damaged. A House collapse incident also occurred in Rajapur and Sakharpa. With gusty winds and heavy rainfall, a big tree crashed on Netravati express, which was on its way from Madgaon to Thivim, however, no casualty took place and railway employees were engaged on war footing to remove the tree in Sindhudurg district.
Gusty winds and heavy rains started lashing several parts of Goa on Sunday morning. Power supply in a majority of areas of Goa was disrupted as hundreds of electric poles were uprooted due to the high-speed winds, state Power Minister Nilesh Cabral informed.
“Many high tension 33 KV feeders are down due to the falling of trees. Even the 220 KV lines bringing power to Goa from neighbouring Maharashtra have been damaged,” he said. The electricity department deployed its full force for the restoration work, but it was getting hampered due to the strong winds, he said.