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AHMEDABAD, Jun. 16, 2023 (TBINN)

The intensity of cyclone Biparjoy which lashed Saurashtra-Kutch region has reduced from very severe to severe category hours after making landfall in coastal areas of Gujarat, an official said today.

The cyclone has moved North-Eastwards and has weakened into a cyclonic storm and will become a depression by the evening over south Rajasthan, the official added.

Biparjoy (meaning disaster or calamity in Bengali) unleashed destructive wind speeds of up to 140 kmph and incessant rains as trees and electricity poles were uprooted, while seawater entered villages located in low-lying areas. A cattle-rearer duo of father and son died while trying to save their goats stuck in a flooded ravine in Bhavnagar District.

Howling winds yanked hundreds of trees, damaged communication towers, toppled electricity poles, flung solid objects, and raised dusty squalls that virtually resulted in zero visibility in some areas. Many areas plunged into darkness due to power cuts. Strong winds broke electric wires and poles, causing a power outage in 45 villages of Maliya tehsil, official informed.

Relief and rescue operation was under way with multiple teams of the National Disaster Response Force (N.D.R.F.) and the State Disaster Response Force (S.D.R.F.) deployed in the affected districts, officials mentioned.

Gujarat’s Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel reviewed the situation and the rescue and relief operation at the State Emergency Operation Centre in Gandhinagar. The landfall process of the very severe cyclonic storm commenced at around 6:30 P.M. along the coast of Saurashtra-Kutch, and was completed after midnight, the official said.

The eye of cyclone, which was churning across the Arabian Sea for more than 10 days, was located around 20 km southwest of Jakhau port, 120 K.M. North-West of Devbhumi Dwarka and 50 km West-South-West of Naliya.

Landfall indicates a cyclonic storm moving over land after being over water. While approaching the Gujarat coast, the cyclone moved with a speed of 13 kmph. During the landfall, the wind speed was 115-125 kmph gusting to 140 kmph, I.M.D. said.

The state government said it has deployed 631 medical teams and 504 ambulances in the eight affected districts. The state administration said that till Thursday evening it shifted more than 94,000 persons living in the eight coastal districts to temporary shelters.

Apart from teams of N.D.R.F. and S.D.R.F., Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Border Security Force have been roped in for relief and rescue operations, officials disclosed.

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