NEW DELHI, May 18 (KUNA) -- India said on Tuesday that cyclone Tauktae killed at least 21 people and several others were injured in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra and southern state of Karnataka. Press Trust of India said quoting officials from Gujarat that seven people were killed in cyclone Tauktae related incidents in the state as hundreds of houses, roads and bridges were destroyed at the coastal regions of the state. Earlier, eight deaths in Karnataka and six deaths in Maharashtra were also reported by the PTI to take the death toll so far to 21.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was quoted as saying that more than 16,000 houses were damaged, and more than 40,000 trees and over 1,000 poles uprooted due to the cyclonic storm. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the cyclone made landfall at the Gujarat coast in Saurashtra region between Diu and Una last night.
The IMD added that the cyclone Tauktae weakened around midnight after crossing the Gujarat coast as an extremely severe cyclonic storm. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had instructed all the concerned authorities in the state and central governments to take all necessary measures during a high level meeting last Saturday. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Air Force and Navy rescued several stranded people as they were kept ready for operation.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had warned that the cyclone would touch Gujarat coast around 18th May with the wind speed ranging upto 175 kmph. Five other states along the western and southern Indian coast including Kerala, Maharashtra witnessed to heavy rainfall, strong winds and huge sea waves due to the cyclone. (end) atk.rk