New Delhi, Jun 16 (EFE).- Cyclone Biparjoy had weakened from the “very severe” to “severe” category on Friday as it moved northeastwards through India, killing at least two people in its wake, while Pakistani authorities maintained a high alert in coastal areas.
The cyclone is progressing towards India’s northwestern state of Rajasthan after making landfall on Thursday evening in the nearby state of Gujarat close to the Pakistani coast, the director of the India Meteorological Department, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, said in the latest bulletin.
The windspeed of the storm’s gusts has also reduced to 105-115 kph from the 145 kph winds registered on Thursday, reducing it to the severe category.
At least two people were killed in Gujarat on Thursday during the storm, while trying to save animals that had got trapped in a water current, Bhavnagar district collector RK Mehta told EFE.
The IMD expects Biparjoy to weaken into a cyclonic storm through Friday and become a deep depression by the night as it moves towards southern Rajasthan and northern Gujarat.
The powerful storm caused power outages in several villages, destroyed homes, uprooted trees and blocked several roads, as per reports and images shared by local media outlets.
More than 94,000 people have been evacuated from the areas at-risk in India according to media reports, while 72,000 people had been evacuated in neighboring Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities maintained a high alert along the coast of the southern Sindh province, where thunderstorms along with winds measuring 80-100 kph were reported from six coastal districts as per the latest bulleting by the weather department.
Cyclones are common on the Indian coast. In 2021, Cyclone Tauktae hit India’s western coast leaving at least 145 people dead. In neighboring Pakistan a cyclone in 1999 killed more than 6,000 people. EFE