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In photos: The damage caused by the worst cyclone to hit India’s west coast in over 20 years

Damage from heavy rains and winds due to Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai
Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
An uprooted tree is seen on a road after strong winds caused by Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai, India May 17, 2021.
  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published Last updated

Heavy rainfall, thunder, and wind speeds upwards of 100 kilometres per hour have ravaged several western Indian states over the last three days as cyclone Tauktae continues to hit the country. It is the strongest cyclone in the region since the one in 1998, which killed at least 4,000 people.

Over eight people have died in the state of Karnataka where more than 120 villages were hit. Kerala reported seven deaths and over 1,500 homes either partially or fully destroyed, while Goa, where two people were killed, struggled without electricity as 700 electric poles collapsed and up to 300 transformers were damaged.

Six people and four animals were killed in Maharashtra, including two children who were killed by an uprooted tree falling on their hut. Two barges and a drill ship went adrift in Mumbai with a total of 435 people on board. While rescue operations are underway, 125 persons who were on board were still missing at 7.30 am today (May 18).

Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
Workers are seen at a damaged Covid-19 vaccination centre in Mumbai on May 17, 2021.
Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
Passenger buses are stranded on a waterlogged road after heavy rains in Mumbai on May 17, 2021.
Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
A damaged car is seen on a road after a tree fell on it due to strong winds in Mumbai.
Reuters/Niharika Kulkarni
People stand next to a fallen tree in Mumbai.

On May 16, the Indian meteorological department’s warnings about Tauktae went from cyclonic storm to severe cyclonic storm to very severe cyclonic storm in a span of just eight hours. A day later, the cyclone was labelled “extremely severe.”

There have been efforts to curb the first cyclonic storm of 2021. Airports in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara, were shut for parts of May 17 and 18. Hundreds of thousands of people in Gujarat and Maharashtra were evacuated and relocated as the storm approached.

The Indian Army and Navy have been running round-the-clock rescue operations.

Reuters/Amit Dave
A member of the National Disaster Response Force in Veraval in Gujarat uses a megaphone to appeal to residents to move to a safer place.
Reuters/Amit Dave
Women and children leave their houses and evacuate to a safer place ahead of Cyclone Tauktae in Veraval in Gujarat..

During the worst hours of the storm, local policemen guided people to safety and municipal workers continued clearing out fallen trees from the streets.

Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
Frontline workers help people cross a flooded street after heavy rainfall in Mumbai.

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