New Delhi: No lives were lost after Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall in Gujarat, however, 23 people were injured and electricity supply was disrupted in about 1,000 villages in the state, NDRF Director General (DG) Atul Karwal said Friday.
The Arabian Sea cyclone ripped through Kutch and parts of Saurashtra region of Gujarat Thursday leaving a trail of destruction. Heavy rains lashed the entire Kutch district since the cyclone started making landfall near Jakhau Port from 6.30 pm Thursday and the process continued till 2.30 am, according to officials.
Karwal told reporters in Delhi that while two lives were “tragically” lost before the landfall of the cyclone, not a single human life was lost post the landfall in Gujarat.
This is because of the in-depth and coordinated efforts undertaken by the Gujarat administration and other agencies that worked to ensure that the loss of life and property is minimum, he added.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief added that at least 23 people were injured due to the cyclonic effect.
He said about 1,000 villages were facing electricity disruption in the state.
About 40 per cent of these villages facing power cuts are in Kutch district that bore the maximum brunt of the cyclone, he said.
About 500 ‘kutcha’ houses or huts have been damaged, ‘puckka’ or permanent house that suffered damage are in single digits while about 800 trees have been uprooted or hit, and our teams and those from the state disaster response force (SDRF) are working to normalise the situation and help those affected, Karwal said.
The DG said the road network in the state was by and large clear and the cellphone network was “still intact”.
Except Rajkot, no place in Gujarat is experiencing heavy rains and the winds are barrelling at a speed of about 90-100 kilometres per hour in Kutch. In the rest of the regions of the state, this speed is about 40-70 kms per hour, he said.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy has diluted to a severe storm now and by noon it will be a cyclone and further by the evening, it will convert into a deep depression, the DG said.
The cyclone is losing its power as it travels in the land and is now moving towards southern Rajasthan, he said.
The DG said an NDRF team was positioned in Jalore (Rajasthan) Thursday evening after consultation with the state government as heavy rains there may lead to a situation of flooding and people getting trapped.
Photos and videos shared by the NDRF personnel showed rescuers cutting fallen trees using electric saws and evacuating people from areas that were flooded due to heavy rains in Gujarat.
A total of 18 NDRF teams, equipped with pole and tree cutters and inflatable boats, are deployed in Gujarat apart from one team in the neighbouring Union Territory of Diu to undertake rescue and relief operations.
Five NDRF teams are deployed in Maharashtra (Mumbai) and four in Karnataka to respond to any situation that develops in the aftermath of the cyclone, Karwal said.