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A powerful cyclone lands in India amid a deadly virus surge – NBC4 Washington

A powerful cyclone from the Arabian Sea landed on the west coast of India on Monday. Hours after authorities evacuated hundreds of thousands of people and stopped COVID-19 vaccination in one state.

According to the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Taukte, the most powerful storm that has hit the area for over 20 years, landed in Gujarat with heavy rains, storm surges and sustained winds of 165 km / h (103 miles). ..

Forecasters warned of the potential for widespread damage from lowland strong winds, heavy rains and floods.

Twelve people were reported dead and hundreds of thousands were evacuated before the storm hit the land. This is a process complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A massive storm broke out while India was fighting a devastating coronavirus surge. Both storms and viruses can exacerbate the effects of the other. The storm has already led to the suspension of some vaccination activities, increasing the risk of viral transmission in crowded shelters.

In Gujarat, vaccinations were suspended for two days and authorities worked to evacuate hundreds of thousands to temporary relief shelters. The state’s prime minister, Vijay Rupani, has urged authorities not to interrupt the oxygen supply to the hospital.

In Maharashtra, six people have died, the Indian press Pretrust reported. Mumbai, the provincial capital, was hit by heavy rains and strong winds, forcing authorities to suspend operations at the city’s major airports.

Offshore fishing vessels in both states returned to the harbor and thousands of rescue and rescue teams were deployed for restoration work, along with vessels and aircraft.

Rain from the storm killed six people in Kerala, Karnataka, and Goa over the weekend before it traveled along the West Coastline.

Virus blockades, on the other hand, can delay relief efforts after a storm, and storm damage can destroy roads and cut off critical supply lines of vaccines and medicines needed by virus patients. The damage caused by the storm can also especially hurt the poor, who have already reached their limits due to the economic consequences of the virus.

Udaya Regumi, South Asian representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the cyclone was a “terrible double blow” for families already suffering from COVID-19 infection and death.

“The potential impact of Cyclone Taukte is horrifying as this monster storm threatens Gujarat. Every effort must be made to keep people safe from this dangerous storm and the raging pandemic. No, “said Regumi.

The west coast of India is not a stranger to catastrophic cyclones, but changes in climate patterns have made cyclones less frequent and more intense.

In May 2020, nearly 100 people died after the most powerful storm that struck eastern India for more than a decade, Cyclone Amphan, struck the area, leaving millions of people weakened.

A powerful cyclone lands in India amid a deadly virus surge – NBC4 Washington

Source link A powerful cyclone lands in India amid a deadly virus surge – NBC4 Washington

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