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Sunday, March 03, 2024  
21 Shaban 1445  

Coastal areas of India’s Gujarat state return to normalcy after cyclone

The storm caused extensive damage, especially to power infrastructure
A drone view shows dark clouds over Mandvi beach before the arrival of cyclone Biparjoy in the western state of Gujarat, India, June 15, 2023. Photo via Reuters.
A drone view shows dark clouds over Mandvi beach before the arrival of cyclone Biparjoy in the western state of Gujarat, India, June 15, 2023. Photo via Reuters.

Some 1,500 villages were still without electricity in India’s western state of Gujarat, officials said on Saturday, as coastal areas recovered from the impact of this week’s cyclone Biparjoy.

That was down from initial outages in more than 4,600 villages in Saurashtra and Kutch, where the cyclone made landfall on Thursday night.

In many villages, power had been cut off as a precautionary measure to avert any dangerous incidents during the storm, Gujarat Energy Secretary Mamta Verma told Reuters.

Heavy rains forecast for Saturday continued to lash northern districts of the state, causing flooding.

However, ports along the coastline including Pipavav Port and Kandla Port said they had resumed operations, while the Adani owned Mundra Port was due to restart operations from Saturday evening.

The storm caused extensive damage, especially to power infrastructure, uprooting thousands of electricity poles and damaging overhead power lines.

“Our teams are working on the ground to restore electricity supply and supply of drinking water. Repairing of damaged roads and other physical infrastructure is also being undertaken on a priority basis,” said Kamal Dayani, Gujarat’s revenue secretary.

More than 700 homes in the eight coastal districts of Gujarat suffered full or partial damage, according to the state government.

However the only deaths recorded were those of two shepherds who died while trying to prevent their cattle being swept away during heavy rains and floods, hours before the cyclone made landfall.

Early warnings, accurate identification of vulnerable areas and timely evacuations helped India to avert major casualties. Authorities in India and neighbouring Pakistan evacuated morethan 180,000 people from vulnerable areas as the cyclone approached.

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