At least 24 people died on Monday as several states across the western coast of India reeled under the impact of Cyclone Tauktae. Twelve people died in Maharashtra, while eight died in Karnataka, according to The Indian Express. Four people died in Gujarat.
Extremely Severe Cyclone Tauktae weakened after making landfall in Gujarat on Monday night, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday morning. Severe Cyclonic Storm Tauktae lay centred over Saurashtra about 250 km southwest of Ahmedabad at 9.30 am, the weather department said. It added that it would further weaken into a cyclonic storm in the next three hours.
The cyclone made landfall in Gujarat around 8:30 pm on Monday. It caused power outages and uprooted trees and electric poles, PTI reported.
Gujarat’s coastal districts, Gir Somnath, Amreli, and Bhavnagar, received heavy rainfall on Monday night. The India Meteorological Department said that the cyclone is likely to cause heavy rain in Gujarat’s Saurashtra area on Tuesday too.
The government has made arrangements to ensure that hospitals treating coronavirus patients get uninterrupted supply of electricity, according to NDTV. Hundreds of ambulances were on standby to move patients in case of an emergency.
In Maharashtra, Raigad district was the worst-hit by the cyclone. Four people died and more than 8,000 were evacuated, The Indian Express reported.
Heavy rains, high tidal waves and strong winds lashed Mumbai. The city witnessed a record-high wind speed of 114 kilometres per hour.
Commercial flight operations were impacted as several flights flying in and out of Mumbai were cancelled, diverted, and returned with the airport closing down flights between 11 am and 10 pm on Monday due to the cyclone. The Bandra-Worli sea link was also shut.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy deployed three of its frontline warships to rescue 410 people on board two barges that went adrift off the coast of Mumbai on Monday, PTI reported.
The Navy managed to rescue 146 people as of 6 am on Tuesday morning. It has now deployed the P-8I long-range, multimission maritime patrol aircraft for the rescue mission, according to the news agency.
“INS Talwar is proceeding to render assistance to another oil rig Sagar Bhushan with 101 personnel onboard and an accommodation barge SS-3 with 196 personnel onboard, both of which are adrift and presently located about 50 nautical miles south east of Pipavav Port, the Navy said, according to ANI.