Tropical cyclonic storm Tauktae Prevention and response measures by the Indian Coast Guard
As the first indications of formation of a cyclone commenced streaming in from 11 May 21 onwards, Indian Coast Guard geared up its preparation towards the preventive and response measures on Western coast including Lakshadweep islands as well as the adjacent coastal state of Tamilnadu.
All the ashore, afloat and aviation units were put on high alert and by the time ‘Tauktae’ as the storm was to be called, eventually formed in Lakshadweep seas, ICG Ships and aircraft had already alerted fishing boats as well as merchant vessels in the possible route of the storm.
The massive deployment of ICG assets towards preventive measures for cyclone ‘Tauktae’ has translated into 37 shipdays and 75 aircraft hours at sea till date ensuring safe return of more than 5600 boats, alerting/ safe routeing of 335 merchant vessels and timely rescue of 06 personnel.
ICG Remote Operating Stations are incessantly relaying weather alert messages in vernacular languages on MMB radio for the seafarers and fishermen. Navtex warnings are being issued regularly and International safety Net (ISN) has been activated to alert the vessels in/ transiting through area.
Ships at anchorage have also been advised to take shelter and necessary safety measures. Port authorities, Oil rig operators, Shipping, fisheries authorities and fishermen associations have been informed about the impending cyclone and a close liaison and coordination for safety of boats, vessels and fixed platforms is being maintained.
In addition, 40 Coast Guard Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) with inflatable boats, Life buoys and lifejackets are standby all along the western coast for undertaking Disaster response operations. Medical teams & ambulances have also been kept standby for swift mobilisation.
The painstaking efforts put in by ICG paid dividends by resulting in no loss of fishermen life at sea as the storm crossed the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa as well as Lakshadweep islands.
The fisheries authorities of these states reported that all the boats were accounted for and safely tucked in harbour. Response operations for Tug Alliance and MV Coromondel, both off the coast of Karnataka are going on.
The pre-emptive measures by ICG continues with full steam with focus on the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat as the Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Tauktae’ travels northwards and predicted to make landfall at Gujarat coast on the morning of 18th May. State fisheries authorities have confirmed that all the boats have either returned harbour or taken shelter in nearby ports.