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Tankshal ni Masjid: Mitigation Measures for Cyclone Tauktae

Cyclone Tauktae was the first extremely severe cyclonic storm of the 2021 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. The Cyclone was monitored by the India Meteorological Department on May 13 and had originated from a tropical disturbance causing severe damage to the southern coastal belt of Gujarat.

The Cyclone was estimated to make landfall in Ahmedabad on the evening of May 17th with a strong intensity. The second wave of Coronavirus was at its peak and like other cities of India, Ahmedabad was under complete lockdown to curb movement. With limited resources and our available team members, we made a visit to Tankshal ni pol masjid prior to the cyclone’s landfall in order to document the site, gauge the weak areas and carry necessary mitigation measures.

Although the site was already made safe for access earlier, we wanted to ensure that the structure is safe and that people are aware of its vulnerability so that no human life is in danger.

Structurally vulnerable areas of the site had been supported as part of our previous efforts over the initial few months. As part of a few urgent mitigation measures at Conservation Site School, we covered up the most vulnerable corner of the structure’s exterior facade. The corner is vulnerable due to the fact that some parts of the load-bearing brick walls have severely deteriorated. Therefore, these parts of the wall were covered to prevent direct lashing of heavy rains that could affect them further.

In addition to this, we shifted our furniture to safe interior locations, cordoned off the site, and placed signs of danger all around to alarm pedestrians and avoid any risk to people living in the vicinity and accessing areas around the site.

As the cyclone passed with a force of over 100 km/hr lashing the city with heavy rains, we were prepared to undertake necessary repair works required at the Tankshal mosque. We carried out a post-cyclone visit to check for various impacts and extent of damages to the structure. Very minor damage was observed at the Site which included one of the roofing sheets displaced and a tree branch broken in the courtyard.

This entire episode made us more vigilant and at the same time aware that we need handy resources for immediate mitigation measures in case of such calamities. Thankfully, there was no visible structural damage to the mosque and its fabric. 20th May 2021


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