Published on June 12, 2021

AHMEDABAD: Cyclone Tauktae, which caused damage to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore in Gujarat alone according to the state government’s estimates, was as strong as the cyclone that hit Kandla in 1998. This was mentioned in a detailed report on Tauktae released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday. The report also said that Gujarat felt its impact for about 24 hours.

The report said that the cyclone was very rare as it caused adverse weather and damage across the western coast of India from May 14 to 18. The report termed Tauktae as the first cyclonic storm over the north Indian Ocean for 2021. Its track from Lakshadweep to Rajasthan was 1,880km long.

“During satellite era (1961-2021), Tauktae was the most intense cyclone after Kandla cyclone in 1998,” the report said. “During this period, 3 extremely severe cyclonic storms crossed the Gujarat coast.” The report said that Tauktae had the same intensity as that of the Kandla cyclone of June 1998, at the time of landfall. Both had maximum sustained surface wind speed of 160-170 kmph gusting to 185 kmph at the time of landfall. “However, lifetime maximum intensity was higher in the case of Tauktae,” the report said.

Tauktae, the report said, “had the maximum intensity of 180-190 kmph gusting to 210 kmph over the east-central Arabian Sea during early morning to afternoon of May 17.”

Its progression was rapid as it gathered speed and intensity with favourable weather conditions. Against the average life period of 165 hours for tropical cyclones over Arabian Sea, Tauktae lasted for 129 hours.

It moved with 12-hour average translational speed of 14.4 kmph against Long Period Average (1990-2013) of 11.8 kmph over Arabian Sea during the pre-monsoon season.

The report noted a very accurate forecast by the IMD over the cyclone’s course that helped the states mobilize resources and reduce loss of lives. The impact of the cyclone gave very heavy rainfall across the western coast.

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