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Cyclone Tauktae kills 37 in India, 81 missing in western coast

New Delhi – At least 37 people were killed Tuesday in India from Cyclone Tauktae, according to Anadolu Agency (AA).

Twelve were killed in Maharashtra, eight in Karnataka, 13 in Gujarat and two each in Goa and Kerala states, according to official records.

Tauktae made landfall late Monday in the western state of Gujarat with wind gusts of up to 185 kilometres (115 miles) per hour.

It damaged houses and uprooted trees in coastal areas of the state.

“Over 16,000 houses were damaged, and more than 40,000 trees and over 1,000 poles uprooted due to the cyclonic storm in Gujarat,” said Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

The Indian Navy launched a search operation to find 81 missing people who were on board a barge.

Indian naval ships Beas, Betwa and Teg joined INS Kochi and Kolkata in the operation for the barge that sank 35 nautical miles from Mumbai. A total of 180 survivors have been recovered said a statement from the Defence Ministry.

In another operation, an Indian Navy helicopter was launched to rescue crew from the GAL Constructor barge that ran aground north of Mumbai. The helicopter rescued 35 crew members.

Efforts are also in progress off the coast of Gujarat for three vessels that are 15 – 20 nautical miles southeast off the Gujarat coast, said the statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to visit Gujarat and Diu on Wednesday to review the situation and damage.

He will conduct an aerial survey of Una, Diu, Jafarabad and Mahuva. The prime minister will later hold a review meeting in Ahmedabad. – Bernama

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