Cyclone Tauktae made landfall in Gujarat Monday night, forcing the evacuation of more than 200,000 people and the closure of shipping ports in India’s west coast.

The very severe cyclonic storm was centered over Saurashtra, Gujarat state at 06:30 hours Indian standard time (01:00 GMT) on Tuesday and was expected to move north-northeast and weaken gradually in the next few hours, the Indian Meteorological Department said.

Very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall with thunderstorms and gale winds are expected over Gujarat and south Rajasthan on Tuesday, it said.

Gale winds are expected to reach speeds of 115-125 kilometres per hour (km/h), with gusts up to 135 km/h along and off the Gujarat coast on Tuesday.

The cyclone has already killed at least 16 people as it moved past the coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, according to media reports.

Operations of at least 21 ports in Gujarat, including the major port of Kandla and private port of Mundra, were completely suspended on Monday, according to local newspaper The Indian Express.

Operations at Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) 1.24m bbl/day refining and petrochemical complex in Jamnagar, however, have not been affected by the cyclone, a source close to the company said.

“Our plant is not in direct line of the storm,” the source said, but added that congestion at the ports are expected to linger for the next couple of days.

RIL’s Jamnagar complex can produce 1m tonnes/year of ethylene and around 4m tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX) as well as 280,000 tonnes/year of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), according to ICIS data.

Source: ICIS