AHMEDABAD: The very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours and reach the Gujarat coast on Monday evening, the IMD said.
It would cross the state's coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district by early Tuesday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its latest bulletin on Sunday.
Tidal waves are likely to inundate several coastal districts during the landfall, it said.
"The very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae over east central Arabian Sea moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 11 kmph during the past six hours," the bulletin said.
Around 5.30 am on Sunday, the cyclone lay centred about 130 km west-southwest of Panjim-Goa, 450 km south of Mumbai, 700 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 840 km southeast of Karachi (Pakistan), it said.
"It is very likely to intensify during the next 24 hours. It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach the Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross the state coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district around May 18 early morning," the IMD said.
With the cyclone intensifying, the wind speed along and off Gujarat coasts in Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath and Amreli districts will reach 150-160 kmph gusting to 175 kmph by Tuesday morning.
It will reach a speed of 120-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph over Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar districts during the same period, the IMD said.
"Gale winds with speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph are likely to prevail along and off Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, southern parts of Ahmedabad, and Anand districts, as well as Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman (Union Territories) from May 17 midnight till Tuesday morning," it said.
The sea conditions will become "very rough to high" along and off the south Gujarat coast from Monday morning, and "very high to phenomenal" from Monday midnight.
A tidal wave of about 3 metres, 1-2.5 metres above the astronomical tide, is likely to inundate several coastal areas of the state during the time of the landfall, it said.
By Sunday afternoon, the coastal areas of Saurashtra region will start getting light to moderate rainfall, with heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated places over Saurashtra and Kutch and Diu on Monday, and extremely heavy rainfalls at isolated places on Tuesday.
Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea, the state government said, adding that 107 out of the 149 fishing boats which were out into the waters returned to the coast by Sunday morning.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held a high-level meeting on Saturday and said the state government was fully prepared, while the administrations of districts likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm have been alerted.
The government was working with "zero casualty" approach, Rupani said.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed along the south Gujarat and Saurashtra coast.
Rupani said hospitals in coastal areas have been instructed to ensure that treatment of critical COVID-19 patients is not disrupted in case of power outage or other adverse events.
All patients who are on oxygen or ventilator should be shifted to COVID-19 hospitals in nearby districts if needed, he said.
Ambulances with advanced life support systems and ICU ambulances should be sent from other parts of Gujarat to Jamnagar, Rajkot, Kutch and Junagadh, he said.