New Delhi, May 18 (EFE).- A powerful cyclone that hit the western coast of India has killed at least 17 people, officials said on Tuesday.
The intensity of the cyclone Tauktae weakened hours after it made landfall, bringing heavy rains and gusty winds in the western state of Gujarat and its adjoining regions.
“Officially, so far, three death reports have been recorded (in Gujarat),” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told reporters.
Rupani said the dead included a boy, who died in a house collapse, and an 80-year-old woman.
Heavy rains and winds disrupted the power supply in about 2,500 villages and caused extensive damage to some 16,500 homes, Rupani said.
Some 40,000 trees got uprooted, the chief minister noted.
The deaths and damage to property are in addition to recorded on Monday in several states in the west.
At least six people died in Maharashtra and eight in neighboring Karnataka.
The cyclone forced the evacuation of more than 200,000 people in Gujarat and around 12,500 in Maharashtra.
The Indian Navy reported Tuesday that it rescued 177 people stranded in vessels on the Arabian Sea.
According to data from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone made landfall Monday night with gusty winds of up 185 km per hour.
The storm began losing its intensity after crossing the coast.
Tauktae added to woes as India registers a record number of daily Covid-19 infections and deaths amid a devastating second wave of the pandemic.
The country Tuesday crossed a grim milestone of 25 million infections since the pandemic began, with a new record of more than 4,300 deaths in the last 24 hours from Monday morning.
Vaccination drive got suspended in many cyclone-hit areas as the storm also put hospitals at risk.
Cyclones often hit the Indian coast, leaving a trail of death and destruction.
Seven people lost their lives when Cyclone Burevi struck southern Indian last December, damaging hundreds of homes.
In May 2020, Super-Cyclone Amphan killed more than 100 people in India and Bangladesh. EFE