| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Seven die as cyclone barrels towards western India, Pakistan

On Tuesday, four boys perished in strong waves near the western Indian financial capital of Mumbai, as India and Pakistan began evacuating people from coastal locations, only two days before a cyclone is anticipated to make landfall.

Biparjoy, a very violent cyclonic storm, is projected to make landfall between Mandvi in India’s Gujarat region and Karachi in southern Pakistan on Thursday evening.

Meteorologists expect maximum sustained wind speeds of 125-135 km/h (78-84 miles/h), with gusts up to 150 km/h (93 miles/h).

“Four boys drowned at Juhu beach on Monday evening. So far, we have found the bodies of two, and the search is still ongoing to locate the remaining two,” said a police official in Mumbai, south of Gujarat.

High waves in the Arabian Sea, accompanied by heavy rains and gusting winds pounded Gujarat’s coastal areas, uprooting trees and resulting in a wall collapse that killed three people in Kutch and Rajkot districts, authorities said.

Eight districts in coastal Gujarat are expected to be affected, the state government said. Fishing has been suspended until Friday and schools have declared holidays.

Gujarat is home to many offshore oil installations and major ports in the country and most have been forced to suspend operations.

A 1998 cyclone killed at least 4,000 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage in Gujarat.

  • Reuters