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Cyclone Tauktae Tears into Gujarat; Destroys Almost 90% Standing Crop in Saurashtra

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat tears apart roof of a house (Source ABP Ananda - ABP News)

Cyclone Tauktae, which entered the Gujarat coast on May 17 evening, has almost flattened 90% of standing crops in Saurashtra area, which include banana plantations, mango orchards, and coconut palms. The Gujarat government has ordered a survey of damage done by the cyclone to horticultural and field crops.  

The monstrous cyclone Tauktae  

The severity of the cyclone could be gauged by the speed of wind, which was more than 150 km per hour.  

According to reports, as the cyclone made landfall between 8 pm on May 17 and 11 am the next day near Una in the adjoining Gir Somnath district, wind speed increased to a monstrous 185 km per hour. The winds blew at this furious speed for a continuous 24 hours.  

No wonder about 90% of the standing crops in Saurashtra and about 70% of crops in interior Saurashtra are destroyed.  

The Head of Khedut Ekta Manch, Sagar Rabari, said, “The summer crop was completely damaged and horticulturists have also clocked phenomenal losses. The path that cyclone took is a hub of kesar mango growers. The mangoes that were ready for harvest in the next few weeks have fallen in the high-velocity winds and trees have been badly damaged or have got uprooted. Similarly, coconut palm growers in the coastal regions saw massive damage.” 

Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat (Source Cyclone Ocean Indian)

The most affected areas 

As per news reports, areas of Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar in Saurashtra, and South Gujarat have been badly affected by heavy rains and high-velocity winds.  

Rabari adds, “Places like Mahuva and Rajula in Bhavnagar district have large banana plantations. Even Kheda, Anand and Bharuch districts have large banana plantations. A number of these farmers have suffered heavy losses.” 

Crops are damaged in Amreli, Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Gir Somnath, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Rajkot, Botad, and Devbhoomi Dwarka.  

Farmers’ statements (Source: TOI)  

A farmer of Kodinar, informs that this whole moong crop has been washed away. To add fuel to the fire, around 20% of his coconut trees were uprooted by the cyclone and blown away. “We did not realize that the cyclone would cause so much destruction,” said the farmer.  

A farmer from Dhari, who had anticipated a great groundnut crop this season, is now despaired by seeing his crop completely damaged. “Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds destroyed everything in my fields. This is the condition of all farmers in the region,” he said. 

The Secretary of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Department, Manish Bharadwaj, informed, “We have already started the survey work in Botad, Amreli, Junagadh and Gir Somnath to assess the damage to horticulture and agriculture.” 

He added, “The summer crop seems to have been affected. Some of the pulses have been harvested but those standing have been damaged in Gir Somnath and Amreli where mango orchards have also been affected.” 

Manish Bharadwaj is stationed at Gir Somnath for rescue and relief work management.  

Summer crop scenario  

About 11 districts of the Saurashtra area had come in the path of the cyclone. Farmers of these districts had sown summer crops in 3.04 lakh hectares this season. This is about one-third of the state’s total 10.4 lakh hectares under summer crop.  

Sesame, bajra, groundnut, green gram, black gram, and pearl millet were amongst the sown summer crops.  

In Ahmedabad, summer paddy in Dholka, Bavla, Sanand, Surat, and adjoining districts has been destroyed by cyclonic winds.  

According to reports, cyclonic winds moved towards Banaskantha after wreaking havoc along the coast. They are expected to do further damage to crops in North Gujarat districts of Sabarkantha and Banaskantha. The government has deployed teams to survey the damage.  

According to most farmers of Gujarat, this cyclone has been one of the ferocious ones they every saw in their lifetimes.  

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