AHMEDABAD, India and KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) – As a severe cyclone named Biparjoy made landfall and unleashed heavy rains, houses were left without roofs, trees were uprooted, and electric poles were toppled, leaving thousands of people without power along the coasts of India and Pakistan on Friday. Read more.
Tragically, two individuals in Gujarat, a western state of India, died after being swept away by floodwaters just before the cyclone struck. In anticipation of the cyclone, which translates to ‘disaster’ or ‘calamity’ in the Bengali language, authorities had already evacuated over 180,000 people in India and Pakistan over the past few days.
Late Thursday, according to weather officials, Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall near Jakhau, a port in Gujarat close to the Pakistan border. The Indian Meteorological Department’s latest bulletin indicated that the cyclone had weakened from a severe cyclonic storm to a cyclonic storm, with wind speeds decreasing from 105 km (65.24 miles) to 85 km (52.82 miles). The bulletin also projected a further reduction in wind speeds by the afternoon.
The cyclone control room reported that two shepherds in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district lost their lives while attempting to rescue their cattle from being swept away during the torrential rains and floods on Thursday evening.
Strong winds caused power disruptions in numerous areas of Gujarat’s Kutch district, revealed Amit Arora, a prominent district official responsible for overseeing rescue operations.
In neighbouring Pakistan, the impact of the cyclone was relatively minor, with reports of rainfall in certain parts of the southern city of Karachi, which had been on high alert. The Pakistan Meteorological Department advised local authorities to maintain vigilance as heavy rain was expected in some coastal areas until Saturday.
Local officials stated that gale-force winds uprooted hundreds of trees in Gujarat’s coastal regions, while the heavy downpours damaged electricity poles, leaving thousands without power on Friday.
India’s weather department warned of heavy rainfall in Gujarat and the neighbouring state of Rajasthan throughout Friday. Likewise, Pakistan’s weather department forecasted moderate to heavy rain in the Hyderabad, Nooriabad, and Thatta regions.