At least 127 people have been reported missing after a ship sank off Mumbai coast in India amid Cyclone Tauktae.
According to the defence ministry, the vessel went adrift hours before a very severe cyclonic storm with winds gusting up to 185 km per hour made landfall on the Gujarat coast.
The barge, operated by a state-run oil company had 273 people on board when it started drifting and about 146 people were rescued from the vessel.
The ministry added that two ships and helicopters were deployed to assist in the search and rescue operations despite the challenging weather conditions.
The Cyclone, equivalent to a category 3 hurricane, sent huge waves crashing onto its shores and turning roads into rivers. It is recorded as the biggest to hit the region in decades.
Reports revealed that at least six people have died in Maharashtra’s Konkan region and some others from Kerala, Goa and Gujarat and several homes have been destroyed, uprooted trees and electricity connection distributed following the strong winds.
Authorities disclosed that tens of thousands of people were evacuated and about 600 Covid-19 patients in field hospitals in Mumbai were transfered to safer locations, Barrons reported.
However, The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General SN Pradhan said the ‘worst is over’ as Cyclone Tauktae is slowly weakening but very heavy rainfall will continue over the coastal districts of Saurashtra, south Gujarat and Diu.
The deadly weather system has further weakened the narrowly surviving India’s healthy system that is currently fighting the novel coronavirus that is killing at least 4,000 people daily.