Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall close to Gujarat’s Jakhau Port on Thursday evening, with winds and gusts of 115–125 kph. The ‘very violent cyclonic storm’ made landfall at the Saurashtra-Kutch coast at about 6:30 pm. Heavy rains battered the coastal region, causing power outages at about 940 villages in Gujarat. Officials claimed that Biparjoy, called disaster in Bengali, unleashed violent winds and relentless rain that destroyed over 524 trees.
Many electric poles fell owing to heavy rains and strong winds in Gujarat, according to Alok Singh, Gujarat’s relief commissioner.
Over 120 kmph gusts of wind and torrential rain pounded the state’s Saurashtra and Kutch coasts as the storm began to make landfall. However, hours after making landfall in the coastal portions of Gujarat, the intensity of Cyclone Biparjoy that pounded this region decreased from “very severe” to “severe”, an official said on Friday.
The ‘very violent’ cyclonic storm made an impact in Gujarat’s coastal areas on Thursday, inflicting at least 22 injuries.
Livestock farmers, including a father and son from Bhavnagar district, lost their lives while attempting to rescue their goats trapped in a flooded ravine.
Recounting the event, revenue official S N Vala said water has been pouring in a ravine that passes through the village of Bhandar near the town of Sihor, following rains since morning. Ramji Parmar (55) and son Rakesh Parmar (22) entered the ravine to rescue the animals but were drowned. The family lost 22 goats and a sheep, claimed Vala, adding that their bodies were found in a distant body of water.
There were no reports of fatalities in the Kutch district, the area most severely affected, said collector Amit Arora.
Officials have updated that the weakened cyclone is moving northeast. It will turn into a depression by night and will head towards south Rajasthan. The violent cyclone was over by after midnight.
At the State Emergency Operation Centre in Gandhinagar, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel assessed the relief and rescue efforts.
According to the state government, 631 medical teams and 504 ambulances have been sent to the eight affected areas. More than 94,000 residents of the eight coastal districts were moved to temporary shelters by Thursday evening.
The cyclone’s eye was located about 20 km southwest of Jakhau port, 120 km northwest of Devbhumi Dwarka, and 50 km west-southwest of Naliya as it was churning across the Arabian Sea for more than 10 days. The storm was moving at a speed of 13 kmph as it got closer to the Gujarat shore.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the CM to update himself about the situation following the landfall. The PM wanted to know what the state administration was doing to ensure the protection of wild animals, particularly the lions in the Gir forest.
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