Cyclone Tauktae- Mumbai airport shut, flights diverted, heavy rainfall alert in Gujarat, Kerala

Mumbai: Cyclone Tauktae, which has now intensified into an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’, has led to the shutdown of airport in Mumbai between 11 am and 2 pm, early Monday morning. Movement of vehicles on Mumbai’s iconic Bandra-Worli sea link has been suspended in the same light.  

“Dear Mumbaikars, Bandra-Worli sea link will be closed to commute till further update. Please take alternate routes if at all you plan to move out. The best plan however is to stay indoors today unless it’s absolutely unavoidable,” BMC said in a tweet.

As a precautionary measure, Mumbai Monorail has also suspended all the operations for the day. “This was a prompt decision taken for the safety of the commuters. We regret any inconvenience caused,” Mumbai Monorail said in a tweet.

The city experienced light rainfall and gusty winds early Monday. Currently, there are three NDRF teams on alert, while five temporary shelters have been set up in each of the city’s 24 wards. Thane, Raigad, Palghar and Ratnagiri districts, are likely to experience intense spells of rain, with winds reaching 75 to 85 km per hour in the next few hours. 

Nearly 7,000 fishing boats – around 2,200 from Gujarat and 4,500 from Maharashtra had been safely returned to their harbours, ANI reported.

 In addition over 300 merchant ships have been alerted or re-routed and oil rig operators in the area have been warned.

Meanwhile, other states like Kerala, Goa and Gujarat have also been witnessing heavy rainfall, gale-force winds and high tidal waves.

Home Minister Amit Shah has reviewed the preparedness for Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Havel and has “specifically” stressed that all health facilities, including those for COVID-19 treatment, falling in the affected areas should be secured along with the patients.  

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Saturday reviewed the preparedness of states, central ministries and agencies concerned to deal with the current situation. 

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