Cyclone Tauktae: Six die in Konkan region of Maharashtra; Mumbai Airport still closed

Of the six, three persons died in Raigad district, a sailor in Sindhudurg district while two persons were killed in Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar after trees fell on them, in Thane district.

Published: 17th May 2021 08:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th May 2021 09:53 PM   |  A+A-

A taxi car that was damaged after a tree fell on it during a heavy rain in Mumbai, India, Monday. (Photo | AP)


MUMBAI: Six persons were killed in Maharashtra's Konkan region in separate incidents related to the severe cyclonic storm 'Tauktae' while three sailors remained missing after two boats sank in the sea, a statement and officials said on Monday.

Of the six, three persons died in Raigad district, a sailor in Sindhudurg district while two persons were killed in Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar after trees fell on them, in Thane district, officials said.

Two boats anchored at the Anandwadi harbour in Sindhudurg district capsized, an official statement said, adding seven sailors were on board the two vessels.

Of them, a sailor, identified as Rajaram Kadam hailing from Devgad taluka in the district, died in the incident, while three others went missing.

The other three sailors are safe, the statement said.

As of 2 pm on Monday, 1,886 houses in Raigad were partially damaged, while five houses were destroyed completely due to the cyclonic storm, the government said.

Earlier, minister of state Aditi Tatkare said 2,299 families (or 8,383 people) were shifted to safer places in view of the cyclonic storm in Raigad.

The district received 23.42 mm rainfall till 2 pm, the statement said.

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Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said a large number of trees fell in the Konkan region due to the cyclonic storm.

The government will have to send additional teams of its personnel to the affected region to restore normalcy once the cyclone threat is over, he said.

Pawar also urged people to not step out of their homes without any reason.

Thane district resident deputy collector Shivaji Patil said two persons were killed in separate incidents in Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar after trees fell on them.

One Vishal Naralkar was killed when a tree fell on him while he was riding a motorcycle in Navi Mumbai in the morning.

In another incident, a huge tree fell on an autorickshaw in which two passengers got crushed in Ulhasnagar in Thane district.

One of the two injured passengers died in the Ulhasnagar central hospital, an official said.

Meanwhile, gusty winds uprooted many trees in Thane and Palghar districts neighbouring Mumbai during the day, leaving many houses damaged.

Hoardings fell at many places, officials said, adding that electricity poles were also uprooted.

In Kalyan, two persons travelling on a two-wheeler were injured after a huge hoarding fell on them.

At least 13 houses in Palghar district were partially damaged during the day.

Palghar collector Manik Gursal said the cyclone alert in the district will remain in force till 8 pm.

In Thane district, more than 24 structures were damaged.

Palghar district disaster control cell chief Vivekanand Kadam said a boat anchored at Mahim Tembe village sank in the sea due to tidal waves.

No casualty is reported as the boat was empty at the time of the incident, he said.

Meanwhile, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport has extended the suspension of all air services to 8 pm from 6 pm announced earlier due to the cyclone 'Tauktae'.

This is the third time in the day, the private airport operator has extended the closure of operations after first announcing it for three hours, starting 11 am.

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"The closure of the flight operations at CSMIA has been extended further till 2000 hours of May 17," the private airport operator said in the updated statement.

Mumbai airport, which is the second busiest aerodrome in the country, is reportedly operating around 250 flights in a day due to low passenger demand amid the deadly and more virulent second wave of the pandemic.

Further, three city-bound flights operated by budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet were diverted due to the closure of all services at the city airport in the morning.

A city-bound IndiGo flight was diverted to Hyderabad and a SpiceJet flight to Surat, while one IndiGo flight was sent back to Lucknow, as per the airport.

Gusty winds and heavy showers lashed Mumbai and its neighbouring areas on Monday as the "very severe cyclonic storm" Tauktae headed towards Gujarat, uprooting trees and disrupting local train services in the metropolis, according to officials.

The Indian Army said on Monday it has put 180 teams and nine engineer task forces on standby to face any contingency as Cyclone Tauktae is likely to hit the Gujarat coast on Monday evening.

"Sector commanders and Divisional HQ (headquarter) are in touch with District Collectors and the Revenue Commissioner who is the nodal agency for relief activities in Gujarat," the Army said in a statement.

The Army said it has identified likely areas -- talukas as well as districts -- where the impact could be higher and it has geared up its columns to react immediately.

"Focus is to save lives, speedy clearance of routes to ensure movement of oxygen and standby arrangements at COVID hospitals," it mentioned.

High-speed winds uproot trees, power poles in Thane, strong winds at 114 kmph strike Mumbai

High-speed winds uprooted many trees and electricity poles, partially damaged two buildings besides many houses and in Thane and Palghar districts neighbouring Mumbai on Monday as the very severe cyclonic storm Tauktae was barrelling towards Gujarat, officials said.

Hoardings fell on the ground at many places.

In Kalyan, two persons travelling on a two-wheeler were injured after a huge hoarding fell on them.

A water tank on the terrace of a hospital broke and fell in the afternoon.

Also, a power supply line broke and fell on road in Bazarpeth area.

No one was injured in these incidents.

In Thane city, part of a building located in Lokmanya Nagar collapsed in the afternoon following heavy rains, a senior civic official said.

In Mumbra, the slab of a building located in Bhoir Compound crumbled.

No casualty was reported in both incidents.

In Kalva, also in the Thane district, the main entrance archof the Chatrapati Shivaji Hospital collapsed following heavy rains, officials said.

In the neighbouring Palghar district, at least 13 houses were partially damaged during the day.

Winds blew at 114 kmph in Mumbai on Monday afternoon as the extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae was passing close to the Mumbai coast barrelling towards Gujarat, civic officials said.

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However, as per the Mumbai IMD, the highest wind speed of 108 km per hour was recorded at the Colaba observatory in the afternoon, said Shubhangi Bhute, senior director, IMD Mumbai.

Earlier in the day, the civic body said the wind speed of 114 kmph, the highest during the day, was recorded around 2 pm at its automatic weather station located at Afghan Church in south Mumbai's Colaba area.

At the same time, the Colaba observatory witnessed the wind speed of 108 kmph, the civic body had said.

Bhute said Colaba and Santacruz observatories recorded 184 mm and 186 mm rainfall, respectively, between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm.

Earlier on Monday, the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) Mumbai centre said its Colaba observatory recorded a wind speed of 102 kmph around 11 am.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set up 60 automatic weather stations across Mumbai for day-to-day monitoring of the climatic conditions in the metropolis.

The Bandra-Worli sea-link was closed for traffic in view of the strong winds and people were asked to take alternate routes, a BMC official said.

Due to the strong winds, some plastic sheets covering the roof of a common passenger area at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai were blown away in the morning, a railway official said.

The area was cordoned off and the railway staff immediately attended to it, he said.

Gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belts of Maharashtra and Goa as Cyclone Tauktae hurtled northwards towards Gujarat.

The cyclonic storm will intensify further and reach the Gujarat coast by Monday evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The Army said it is continuously monitoring the situation for likely intensity, maximum impact areas and anticipated relief effort in coordination with civil administration, IMD, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and other agencies.

The cyclone's maximum impact is likely to be in Saurashtra region, including Diu.

Ten integrated teams are poised to be employed for aid to the civil administration of Diu, the Army said.

It said 10 teams have already been positioned in the Junagadh area while others are ready to move on short notice of the state administration after analysis of situation as it builds up.

"GOC (General Officer Commanding) of the Army Division located at Ahmedabad attended a coordination meeting chaired by the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat and has assured all support," the Army noted.

At this meeting, it was discussed that all efforts should be made to open the roads at the earliest as Gujarat is a critical supplier of oxygen from its ports to outside state destinations.

The Army said it is providing assistance in creating power back up and making preparations for other contingencies at COVID Hospitals in the affected region including Dhanvantri COVID Hospital in Ahmedabad.

"180 teams (three teams in each column) and 09 engineer task forces (ETFs) spread over the geographical area are on standby at short notice factoring in all possible contingencies and COVID situation," it noted.

The IMD said on Monday that over one lakh people have been 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 by Monday evening and cross it between 8 pm and 11 pm.

Suburban train services on Central and Western Railways were affected on Monday due to heavy rains and gusty winds in the wake of cyclone Tauktae heading towards the coast of Gujarat, officials said.

Services between CSMT and Wadala on Central Railway's Harbour line were suspended on Monday from 1:20pm due to water-logging on the tracks near Masjid station.

CR chief public relations officer (CPRO) Shivaji Sutar said water-logging was observed on the Up (going towards CSMT) and Down (going towards Panvel) tracks at Masjid station after which services were suspended on the corridor from 1:20pm.

He tweeted that trains on CR's suburban mainline, trans-harbour, BSU (Uran) and Wadala-Panvel routes were operational.

A tree-fall was also reported on the overhead wire at Dombivali on the CSMT-Kalyan section in the afternoon though no train was passing through at the time, officials said.

Earlier in the day, a tree fell on the overhead wire between Ghatkopar and Vikhroli stations, while services on the Harbour line were affected for a while after a vinyl banner fell on the overhead wire due to gusty winds, they added.

The disruptions on WR were in the latter part of the day, officials said, due to a tree-fall and tin sheets falling on overhead wires amid gusty winds.

These incidents took place in Churchgate, Dahisar, Virar, Umroli and Palghar stations, an official said.

WR CPRO Sumit Thakur said train services were affected in Virar after a tin sheet from a mall fell on the overhead wire, and it had to be removed after switching off electricity in the section.

In Dahisar too, a plastic sheet fell on the tracks from outside, while in Umroli, a roof cover touched the overhead wire, he said.

A tree fell on the UP fast line between Churchgate and Marine Lines which led to the suspension of both fast lines between the two stations, Thakur said.

On CR, train services between Nilje and Taloja stations were affected at 7:30pm after a Maharashtra State Electricity Board transmission line wire touched the rail overhead wire, due to which an outstation train had to be regulated at Panvel station, an official said.

While close to eight million people use the suburban system of Central and Western Railways in Mumbai and its metropolitan region daily, the services currently are available only to those mandated by the Maharashtra government amid 'break the chain' restrictions in place for the COVID-19 outbreak.

India Matters


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