Cyclone Tauktae on Tuesday showed signs of weakening, with the Indian Meteorological Department stating that it was on it's way to weakening into a cyclonic storm by afternoon. On Mumbai, as it passed by Maharashtra incidentally, the storm had been upgraded to an "extremely severe cyclonic storm". But while the weather may well on its way to improvement, the cyclone has left a trail of death and desctruction along the western coast of India.
While official data on the loss of life and damage to property is still being calculated by local administrations, around a dozen people have reportedly died in cyclone-related incidents thus far. Having made landfall at the Gujarat coast on Monday night, the storm is currently hovering over Saurashtra in Gujarat.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Tuesday that at least three people have lost their lives due to Cyclone Tauktae, with around 40,000 trees falling and around 16,500 huts being affected in the state. Another account contends that four people - one each in Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Patan and Valsad - had lost their lives. With devastating winds that reached up to 190 kilometres per hour, Gujarat bore the brunt of the storm's fury, being left with damaged structures and electricity lines. Thousands had been evacuated over the last few days in anticipation of the situation.
In Maharashtra, six people were killed in the Konkan region in separate incidents. Of these, three people died in Raigad district and one in Sindhudurg district, while two persons were killed in Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar after trees fell on them. In separate incidents, the sinking of boats has led to several people being unaccounted for. An accommodation barge capsized off Heera oil fields in Bombay High on Monday night, putting the lives of 273 people in jeopardy. Rescue operations continue, with 177 people having been rescued as of Tuesday noon.
Several areas in the coastal regions of Gujarat plunged into darkness on Monday night due to power outage, while a large number of trees, electric poles and mobile towers got uprooted amid the high speed winds. A similar situation continues to prevail in parts of Maharashtra, including areas in Mumbai and adjacent cities.
(With inputs from agencies)