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Heavy rains as Cyclone Gulab makes landfall in southern India

September 27, 2021
Heavy rain isolated many places in southern India. — Courtesy photo
Heavy rain isolated many places in southern India. — Courtesy photo

HYDERABAD — A cyclone packing strong winds and rains has barrelled into India’s east coast, as tens of thousands of people in several states were evacuated to shelters.

Heavy rains and strong winds were reported along the coast on Sunday evening as the tropical storm over the Bay of Bengal began making landfall, barely four months after another cyclone hit the region, leaving destruction in its wake.

The storm uprooted thousands of trees and power poles, knocking out electricity, before weakening to a deep depression Monday.

Heavy rains lashed the town of Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state on Sunday, swamping roads and marooning hundreds of villages, local official Shrikesh Lathkar said.

One fisherman was missing and another was injured when their boat was hit by the high tide, but no deaths have been reported from the storm.

Moderate to heavy rain continued in several southern states on Monday. India Meteorological Department issued a yellow alert in Kerala for Monday as the southern state received heavy rainfall since Sunday night.

Authorities in two coastal states had been on high alert as the cyclone with sustained winds blowing up to 85 kilometers per hour (53 mph) hit the eastern seaboard late Sunday evening. National Disaster Response Force teams were deployed to the eastern state of Odisha and the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, where thousands of people were evacuated.

The meteorological department said the storm was likely to weaken further and continue moving westward.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had spoken to chief ministers in both states, assuring them of support. “I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” he tweeted.

In May, a massive storm lashed India’s western coast, killing at least 140 people. Just over a week later, another cyclone slammed the country’s eastern coast and neighboring Bangladesh, leaving at least six dead as authorities scrambled to evacuate over a million people. -- Agencies


September 27, 2021
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