Flooded roads in Mumbai after Tauktae cyclone

Is Cyclone Tauktae one of the strongest that hit India?

In Cloudburst, Cyclones, Floods, Summer planning, Tauktae Cyclone by Maz

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We have compared the speed and intensity of each Cyclone in the last 10 years. These Cyclones are the ones that had speeds of more than 100 kilometers per hour. Cyclones going over the speeds of 177 Kmph enter into category 3 and above.

Who is impacted by Cyclone Tauktae in the midst of lockdown?

Cyclone Tauktae affected many people in Western coastal areas of India. Most impacted among the people were affected by lockdown that is daily wage workers, low & medium-income household. The Impact it makes on them is that they have no place to sleep. There is flooding & danger of flying debris. Although this cyclone has gone past Mumbai it is the same for any other place cyclone hits.

How are cyclones categorized through a scale?

It is known as Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. There are 5 categories in the Saffir Simpson scale with which a cyclone is categorized. Tauktae cyclone was expected to be 4 but it increased to 4 plus with its wind speed. As it moved upwards the intensity of the wind speed could eventually reduce. Here’s the aftermath in the Malad area of Mumbai city in India.

Mumbai, India: 17-02-2021 Cyclone Tauktae as it spreads chaos among the people in Malad (E)

Cyclone Tauktae has hit Gujarat with high-speed winds

This Cyclone has hit Gujarat with heavy winds and rain. It is believed to be moving upwards. Road during the cyclone was as if people are facing a high-speed shower, with the high speed wind. It’s a bit difficult to pronounce hence to let you know it is pronounced as a Tau’Te.

Tauktae has been considered one of the strongest cyclones in the Arabian sea since 1998. For some of us, it may be considered a warning sign as the enormity of natural disasters is increasing.

You can see that the warning that was given 20 hrs prior and the wind speeds later had gone up. JTWC had reported 185 kmph wind speed. When the cyclone made landfall, it happened to be on western coast of Gujarat (India).

Satellite image of Cyclone Tauktae
Satellite image of Cyclone Tauktae through VIIRS on Suomi NPP Satellite, 17 May 2021 Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Cyclones that affected India in the last 10 years

The table below shows you the 8 major cyclones that affected India in the last 10 years. Although not all of them had the same among of destruction to life and property, there were few that left an impact.

Cyclone Speed Year Place Month
Tauktae185 KMPH2021India, Mumbai -GujaratMay
Amphan185 KMPH2020India, May
Fani 190 KMPH 2019India May
Vardah 140 KMPH 2016India December
Hudhud217 KMPH2014Eastern India & Bay of Bengal October
Vayu170 KMPH2019Coast of western India June
Thane120 KMPH2011Southern India December
Phailin 200 KMPH2013India October

8 Major Cyclones that hit India in the last 10 years

Amidst the daily lockdowns of few states in India, this Cyclone has hit the western part of the country. The devastation India had to endure in the last few weeks seemed not enough, now it’s another obstacle.

There were other cyclones also such as Nilam (85 Kmph) in 2012, Cyclone Helen in 2013 & Ockhi (80) in 2017. However, they were below 100 Kilometers per hour as per our research.

Cyclone Vayu from the year 2019
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory Cyclone Vayu from the year 2019 as it moved to further west

For those families that have lost their lives due to the recent virus. Life is not going to remain the same as it was last year or 2 years ago even.

Due to not having proper house roofing it was even more difficult for some residents. Instances of metal sheets flying off from the roof top of house in Malad was reported. Also damage of Car windshields were reported.

Mumbai, India: 17-02-2021 High Rise & small houses in the Malad East area when it was hit with Cyclone Tauktae

So far, we haven’t come across a cyclone that is higher severity in the Indian region than Cyclone Hudhud. Cyclones that pass through the mountainous regions can cause further damage. These cyclones take a lot of moisture from the sea. When they hit the coast it starts to rain and heavy winds.

Based on this if the movement or trajectory is to go upwards or in a direction of huge mountain ranges. It could do the same damage as Cyclone Hudhud. Due to very heavy rainfall, at once it can create an ideal situation for Landslides just as we learn in the case of Cloudburst and their effects on us.

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