As the Tauktae cyclone swept up the west coast for the first time in more than two decades, authorities evacuated over 200,000 people from their homes in Gujarat to safety and closed ports and major airports.
According to officials, Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 16 people and left a trail of devastation as it passed through the coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra. It was set to make landfall in Gujarat late on Monday.
“This will be Gujarat’s most intense cyclone in at least 20 years. This is comparable to the cyclone that struck Kandla in 1998 and caused extensive damage “Pankaj Kumar, the state revenue secretary, told Reuters.
“Heavy rains and strong winds have begun in several areas,” Kumar said in a later update on the situation. Electricity pylons and trees were uprooted, and buildings were damaged in Gujarat’s coastal areas, according to state officials.
The cyclone in Gujarat in 1998 killed at least 4,000 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. The new cyclone adds to the strain on Indian authorities, who are still dealing with a large number of COVID-19 infections.
“For millions of people in India, this cyclone is a double hit, as their families have been devastated by record COVID infections and deaths. Many families are barely surviving “In a tweet, Udaya Regmi, the International Federation of Red Cross’s South Asia head of delegation, said.