Cyclone Tauktae, which has now intensified into an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm', is likely to reach the Gujarat coast by Monday evening and cross the state coast between 8 pm and 11 pm, the IMD said. At least six people have died in torrential rain and winds as virus-hit India braces for a powerful cyclone.
As a precautionary measure, the state administration shifted over one lakh people living in coastal areas of 17 districts to safer places till late Sunday night, and the work resumed on Monday morning, the government said in a release.
The rapid intensification happened in the early hours of Monday, said the IMD which had earlier not predicted that Tauktae will intensify into an extremely severe cyclonic storm. It now has a wind speed of 180-190 kilometres per hour with winds gusting to 210 kilometres per hour.
Gusty winds and rains lashed Mumbai and its neighbouring areas overnight and on Monday morning as the 'very severe cyclonic storm' Tauktae was heading towards Gujarat, officials said.
In view of the high-speed winds, the Bandra-Worli sea-link was closed for traffic and people were asked to take alternate routes, a senior official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
Local trains services of the Central Railway were disrupted between suburban Ghatkopar and Vikhroli as a tree branch fell on a train heading towards neighbouring Thane, a railway spokesperson said.
Around 1.5 lakh people are being shifted from low-lying coastal areas in Gujarat, while 54 teams of the NDRF and SDRF remained deployed after IMD's warning that Tauktae will reach the state coast on Monday evening and cross it Tuesday.
The IMD has issued an orange alert for Mumbai warning of very heavy rains at isolated places with strong winds on Monday as Tauktae is likely to pass close to the Mumbai coast.
Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) stationed in the western suburbs of Mumbai have been put on alert. Teams of the Indian Navy are also kept on standby, officials said.
(Text - ANI, News18 Swarajya and other agencies)
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