According to a tweet from the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Tauktae, which is currently centered over Lakshadweep, intensified into a cyclonic storm on Saturday morning (IMD).
IMD tweeted, “Deep Depression intensified into a Cyclonic Storm “Tauktae” (pronounced Tau’Te) over Lakshadweep region and adjoining southeast & east-central Arabian Sea: Cyclone watch for south Gujarat & Diu coasts.”
As the western coast of India prepares for the cyclone’s arrival, the Indian Navy has pledged its support to state governments. “Indian Navy ships, aircraft, helicopters, diving and disaster relief teams standby…for rendering full support to State administrations as Cyclonic Storm Tauktae approaches Western Coast of India,” a Navy spokesperson tweeted.
Meanwhile, the IMD predicted that by May 17, the storm would have intensified into a “very strong cyclonic storm” with wind speeds of 150 to 160 kmph. According to the weather department, the cyclone is expected to pass north north-eastwards for a short time before moving north north-westwards and reaching the Gujarat coast by May 18 morning.
IMD tweeted, “Deep Depression over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast & east-central Arabian Sea about 55 km north-northwest of Amini Divi.To intensify into a Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hrs. To move north-northwestwards and reach near Gujarat coast by 18th May morning.”
Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamitta, and Ernakulam are among the five districts of Kerala where the authorities have issued a red alert, and the National Disaster Response Force has been deployed in the affected areas. The IMD has issued a yellow category storm warning for Mumbai and Thane, where the storm’s effects are likely to be felt over the weekend.
“The influence of the storm in Maharashtra is likely to subside after May 17 (Monday) as it would travel northwestwards towards Gujarat around May 18,” according to an official with IMD’s regional forecasting centre in Mumbai.