Tauktae cyclone formed on May 14, 2021, in the Arabian Sea became the strongest hurricane of 2021 North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season. Considered the strongest tropical typhoon to make landfall on the west coast of India since the 1998 Gujarat cyclone. Tauktae cyclone brought tremendous rainfall and flash floods to regions in the southwest of India. The weather forecasts predicted maximum wind speeds of about 74 km/h between May 16 and May 17, but actual wind speeds rose to nearly 150-180 km/hr. Tauktae cyclone recorded a high wind gust of 195 km/h sustained for 3 minutes and 220 km/h for 1 minute.
Effect on Mumbai High
Afcons Infrastructure was using the three barges to house the workers working on the ONGC project. Navy Spokesman Vivek Madhwal said the naval force had sent off three corvettes to save those aboard the Afcons’ three-stranded barges. Two of three barges are at the shoreline of Mumbai, the state capital of Maharashtra, while the third barge is about 92km from the Gujarat shoreline, attached to an oil driller. Naval force reported that 196 people were on board. And another 100 people were stuck on the derricks.
The Directorate General of Shipping Communication Centre informed at morning on May 17, by the time the hurricane had already crossed the Mumbai coast. The barge had begun transmitting distress signals to the command centre. Command centre redirected the Coast Guard, Navy, and merchant’s vessels to its location only at antemeridian. The barge finally sank around dusk, and the typhoon made landfall at Gujarat four hours later.
The barges are large non-locomotive water travelling vessels that transport bulk goods. Heera high oil fields have oil well that needs several vessels around them for support. That includes offshore support vessels, oil drillers, tugs, seismic survey vessels, floaters, all-purpose barges, and accommodation barges. Due to the cyclone, the barge gets traumatized. And the anchors gave away made the barge start trembling.
Rescue Mission – Tauktae Cyclone
Seventy-seven people have disappeared after a barge named P305 in the foreshore of Mumbai city sank during a severe cyclone. Mumbai’s weather condition was too bad for the naval army to pursue the rescue mission. The Indian Naval Army said that it had rescued 186 people on the ship. Protected thirty-five people from one of the three barges stuck at the Arabian Sea at the commencement of the cyclone. Nineteen people have already died in the storm before Tauktae made landfall on Monday.
Navy Spokesman said that The Indian navy has straddled an immense number of the air force and naval rescue teams searching for the missing oil workers. But has difficulties due to massive waves. The Mumbai high tide is 20 to 25 feet (six to 7.6m) high, with a high wind gust, and low vision for the searching team.
ONGC said it had also arranged rescue vessels to safeguard its workers. One of the barges, seemingly carrying goods, had anchored. And was about 14km from the shoreline when it went loose on Monday. The Naval Force said that they halted the barge since the difficult time of the sea. But everyone on the ship is informed to be safe. In this disaster, Sixty-six people died, forty passengers were missing. And recovered only thirty-three bodies near Heera Oil Fields in the Mumbai High area.