January 31, 2023

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Cyclone Tauktae brings record May rains, leaves trail of destruction in Maha

Mumbai, With at least 11 dead, the fury of Cyclone Tauktae on Monday brought in record highest rains and unprecedented levels of destructions in the coastal districts of Maharashtra, officials said on Tuesday.

Relief & Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that at least 11 persons have been killed, including 3 in Mumbai, in various storm-related incidents and another 5 are reported missing from the coastal areas of the state comprising Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar which bore the brunt of the cyclone.

“There has been huge devastation of mango orchards, cashewnuts, coconuts and other plantations and we have asked the district authorities to immediately prepare ‘panchnamas’ for relief,” he told media persons.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has also directed that the affected people must be given relief as soon as possible as the state limps back to normalcy.

The country’s commercial capital also experienced its closest encounter with a mega-cyclonic storm in the past 73 years, and the third most severe cyclone impact in the past three years in a row after Cyclone Nisarga hit Maharashtra coast in 2020 and Cyclone Vayu had moved away parallel to the west coast in 2019.

Living up to the IMD’s prediction of 110kms/hr windspeeds in Mumbai, the city notched 114 km/hr winds lashing Colaba, Brittania Pumping Station Reay Road recorded 177 km/hr and Malvani in Malad west saw windspeeds of 101 km/hr.

The IMD recorded a staggering average 230.3 mm rainfall in the suburbs and average 207.6 mm rains in the city side, both a record during the peak summer month of May in the past century.

The city’s annual average rainfall is around 2,500 mm, implying the cyclone brought nearly 9 percent of this year’s likely total rains.

The highest rainfall figures were recorded in Kandivali (320 mm), Borivali (315 mm), Dahisar (292 mm), Goregaon and Malad (281 mm each), G-South Ward of south-central Mumbai and surroundings (266 mm), and Worli (254 mm).

As many as 56 low-lying spots in the city witnessed flooding and waterlogging for several hours, disrupting traffic and pedestrian movement, with reports of water seeping in some slums or ground floor flats in buildings.

The city saw 43 incidents of minor or major house or wall crash incidents which left 9 injured, and 39 complaints of electrical short-circuits due to water seepage in electric boxes or junctions.

At least 2,364 trees or major branches were ripped off during the cyclone across the city, leading to one death and one injury.

Fishing boats moored to the shores in Malvani and Mahim shores were uprooted from their anchors in which two persons are still missing, while eight managed to swim ashore safely, said the BMC report.

Hours after the Cyclone Tauktae whirled over to Gujarat coast and made a landfall late on Monday, Mumbai and the rest of the coastal Konkan witnessed stray rains since midnight, though strong winds and showers continued in isolated areas on Tuesday as life limped back to normalcy.

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