IAF gears up with 16 transport aircraft, 18 helicopters as Cyclone Tauktae is 'very likely' to intensify
Cyclone Tauktae is expected to cause very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall along the western coast of India in the next few days.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has kept 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters on operation readiness in preparation for the Cyclone Tauktae which is expected to cause very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall along the western coast of India in the next few days, official sources said.
The ministry stated that one IL-76 aircraft has airlifted 127 personnel and 11 tonnes of cargo from Bhatinda to Jamnagar. A C-130 aircraft has airlifted 25 personnel and 12.3 tonnes cargo from Bhatinda to Rajkot. Two C-130 aircraft have airlifted 126 personnel and 14 tonnes cargo from Bhubaneswar to Jamnagar.
Additionally, IAF Covid relief operations have been focused in these coastal areas for the coming few days, as bad weather is likely to affect air operations later. The cyclone relief operations are in addition to those underway for Covid relief, the ministry added.
According to the National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Cyclonic Storm “Tauktae” (pronounced as Tau’Te) over east central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea moved north-north-westwards with a speed of about 11 kmph in the past six hours and lay centred at 0830 hours IST Saturday, over east central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea near latitude 12.8°N and longitude 72.5°E, about 190 km north-northwest of Amini Divi, 330 km south-southwest of Panjim-Goa, 930 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 1020 km south-southeast of Karachi (Pakistan).
"It is very likely to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 6 hours and into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during the subsequent 12 hours. It is very likely to move north-north-westwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around May 18 Afternoon / evening," the IMD stated.