Tropical Cyclone Tauktae, India’s strongest storm on record since 1998 hit the country’s west coast on Monday.
By Tuesday morning, Tauktae had weakened from an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” to a “severe cyclonic storm. But at least 26 people have already died in the storm due to drowning at sea, house collapses, lightning strikes and other accidents linked to the severe weather.
The stricken barge, owned by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and three other commercial barges carrying about 700 people that became stranded at sea in the wake of cyclone Tauktae has led to more than 90 people missing.
Of the 270 people aboard, 177 have been rescued according to the Indian navy while efforts to find survivors are still ongoing.
More than 200,000 people have been evacuated across several states and more than 2,435 villages are without power as a precautionary measure, though 484 have since had it restored.
On Tuesday morning, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), said in a tweet that “Light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 30-40 Km/h would continue to occur over and adjoining areas” of the country.
The cyclone has tampered with efforts to tackle the pandemic in Gujarat despite a drop in cases across the country.
According to Gujarat state’s chief minister Vijay Rupani, among the 400 Covid-19 hospitals, power supply has been disrupted to 100. Although all the hospitals have backup generators, they failed at four, leaving them with no option of electricity.