In light of the alarming severity of the cyclone Tauktae approaching the western coast of the state, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued a ‘Signal 10’ danger warning for all Gujarat ports. This comes in light of the recent statement by the IMD revealing that the ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm had intensified into an ‘extremely severe’ storm and was expected to cross the western coast of Gujarat by the morning of May 18.
Signal 10, as per the IMD, refers to a ‘very danger’ warning, meaning thereby that a very severe cyclone is expected to cross over or cross near the port.
The wind speed is expected to be between 64-119 knots (120-220 km/h) or above 120 knots (over 220 kmph and more) for a super cyclone. The Signal 10 warning is one level less than the highest Signal 11 warning which states that all communications have failed with the cyclone warning office.
Preparations at Gujarat for Cyclone Tauktae
Ravaging through the coastal belt of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa, Cyclone Tauktae is headed towards Gujarat after leaving 6 dead so far, and several houses damaged. As of now, over 1.5 lakh people are being shifted from the state’s coastal and low-lying areas by more than 50 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) which have been deployed in the state for emergency and rescue operations.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also issued a warning ahead of the cyclonic storm requesting citizens to not leave their homes between May 17-18. The state which is already faced with rising COVID-19 cases, has also ensured that 1,300 COVID Hospitals have a backup power supply to continue treatment of patients in case the cyclone leaves the power stations affected.
“As the cyclonic storm intensifies, we are prepared with all the necessary precautions to tackle any eventuality that may hit the coast”, shared a spokesperson on behalf of Essar Ports.
“We are working in close coordination with the local administration and as a measure of precaution, we have moved all our floating crafts to inner anchorage. All the equipment at Jetty and Shore are lashed for cyclonic conditions. Safety is core to our philosophy be it manpower or equipment”, the spokesperson added.
“To ensure workplace safety, operations and movement of manpower has been suspended and will only resume once the conditions improve. Additionally, our emergency response team is in place to handle adverse situation during or post cyclone to act on, if needed. These are times that test our resolve to the fullest. We have stepped up and doing everything possible in the best interest of the situation.”~Spokesperson, Essar Ports
In order to avoid damage to ships calling on the ports in Gujarat, as many as 28 vessels have been asked to leave even as signal number ten, indicating ‘great danger’ has been hoisted at five ports that fall in the path of Cyclone Tauktae, shared a senior official of the Gujarat Maritime Board.
All 27 vessels have been instructed to move to high seas to ensure safety of vessels and port facilities in view of Cyclone Tauktae. Right now, there are no vessels at the ports.