Rainy days ahead as Cyclone Tauktae intensifies
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Rainy days ahead as Cyclone Tauktae intensifies

May 15, 2021
  • Red alert in Kodagu for tomorrow
  • NDRF team ready to rescue trapped people

Madikeri/Mysuru: With the deep depression developed over the Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea intensifying into cyclonic storm Tauktae, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 36 to 48 hours in South Karnataka including the districts of Mysuru and Kodagu. A red alert has been sounded in Kodagu where people living in hilly areas have been asked to move to safer places.  

The cyclone has come at a time when the districts are battling the ferocious second wave of Coronavirus — a sort of double whammy to the already stretched and worked up administrations.  Cyclone Tauktae is expected to hit the Karnataka coast today evening with winds gusting at the speed of up to 80 kmph coupled with rain. 

By the early hours of Monday, the cyclone could boast of maximum sustained surface wind speeds worth 150-160 kmph, gusting to 175 kmph. Under its influence, heavy rainfall has been forecast over Kerala and adjoining ghat districts of Karnataka from today to Monday. Residents are urged to take action in order to protect themselves from extreme weather conditions.

This morning, Mysureans woke up to chilly weather due to rains that began late last night. Thought the rain gave a respite from sweltering heat, they had to remain indoors. Already people are spending a life of recluse due to COVID lockdown by staying indoors all the time.

Today, except for essential purchases, people preferred to stay indoors and roads remained empty. Even those who ventured out to buy essentials from 6 am to 10 am were caught in the rain and office-goers of crucial sectors including media had a tough time in reaching their offices. 

Mysuru rain forecast

The Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority and Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre have issued alerts. The forecast for Mysuru is that it will receive 35 mm rainfall on May 15 (today), 31 mm on May 16, 30 mm on May 17 and 33 mm on May 18. Maximum temperature will be between 31 and 33 degrees Celsius while minimum temperature will be between 20 and 21 degrees Celsius. 

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Red alert in Kodagu

The IMD has issued red alert in Kodagu with a forecast of heavy rain on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. While May 15 will be an orange alert, May 16 will be a red alert day. Accordingly, the Kodagu District Administration has cautioned the public and urged them to remain in safer places in view of the forecast. 

Kodagu was battered by rain, floods and landslip since 2018 resulting in loss of lives and damage to properties. This is the fourth consecutive year that the district will be receiving very heavy rainfall. The 25-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team from 10th Battalion Guntur in Andhra Pradesh has arrived in Kodagu and have been housed at ‘Maithri,’ the Kodagu District Police Bhavan at Madikeri.  It is the same team that is carrying out relief and rescue operations since the last three years. 

The team will be positioned at vulnerable places for tackling rain-related emergencies. The NDRF team will function in tandem with the Revenue Department, Police, State Disaster Response Force and also the Forest Department.

A 25-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team from 10th Battalion Guntur in Andhra Pradesh has arrived in Kodagu to rescue people from possible floods and landslides. This time they have a special outfit with a headgear stretching up to their stomachs that protects them from rain and also from COVID virus transmission during rescue missions.

People warned about danger 

The District Administration has also asked people to move away from hilly areas and stay in safer places. Areas where landslides have occurred in the last three years must be avoided. People on both banks of River Cauvery and Lakshmanatheertha and on the low lying areas of rivers have been directed to move to safer places and take all precautionary measures for safety and security of their lives and properties.

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The District Disaster Management Authority has been activated and instructions have been passed by Deputy Commissioner Charulata Somal to all Tahsildars to communicate any eventuality to the District Headquarters so that relief can be rushed. 

Since last night, it has been pouring in Madikeri, Kaththalekaadu, Siddapura, Kushalnagar, Bethri, Karadigodu, Napoklu, Kakkabbe, Madapura, Garwale, Somwarpet, Bhagamandala, Talacauvery, Perumbadi, Thithimathi, Kunda, Ponnampet, Haisudlur, Shettigeri and Kutta. The IMD has predicted 50 mm rainfall in Kodagu on May 15 (today), 111 mm on May 16 and 42 mm on May 17. Temperatures will be between 20 and 31 degrees Celsius. 

Tauktae means ‘gecko’, a distinctively vocal lizard

The word Tauktae has been suggested by Myanmar, which means ‘gecko’, a distinctively vocal lizard, in the Burmese language. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) maintains rotating lists of names, which are appropriate for each Tropical Cyclone basin. If a cyclone is particularly deadly or costly, then its name is retired and replaced by another.

Generally, the name list is proposed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) of the WMO members of a specific region. Naming tropical cyclones came into the practice for quick identification of the storms in warning messages because names are presumed to be easier to remember than latitude and longitude numbers and technical terms. Also, names make it easier for the media to report on cyclones and increase community preparedness.

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