“A terrible double whammy”, a strong hurricane hits parts of India that have been hit hard by COVID-19

On Monday, a powerful cyclone in the Arabian Sea made landfall on the western coast of India. Within hours, the authorities evacuated thousands of people and suspended COVID-19 vaccination in one state.

The Bureau of Meteorology of India said that Hurricane Tauktae was the strongest storm to hit the area in more than two decades. It landed in Gujarat State, with heavy rain, violent storm surges and sustained wind speeds of up to 165 kilometers per hour.

Forecasters warned that high winds, heavy rains and flooding in low-lying areas could cause widespread damage.

According to reports, twelve people died and hundreds of thousands were evacuated before the storm hit the land, a process complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

While India is battling the destructive coronavirus surge, a huge storm has occurred-both the storm and the virus may exacerbate each other’s influence. The storm has caused some vaccinations to be suspended, and the risk of virus transmission in crowded shelters is greater.

Squally Tauktae and downpour overwhelmed a bus. Authorities raced to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people before the storm and suspended Gujurat’s COVID-19 vaccination. (Rafiq Mabbur/Associated Press)

COVID-19 vaccine has been suspended

In Gujarat, vaccination was suspended for two days, and the authorities tried to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people to temporary shelters. The state’s chief minister Vijay Rupani (Vijay Rupani) asked officials to ensure that the hospital’s oxygen supply is not interrupted.

The News Agency of India reported that six people were killed in Maharashtra. The state’s capital, Mumbai, was hit by heavy rain and strong winds, forcing the authorities to suspend operations at the city’s main airport.

Fishing boats off the coast of the two states returned to ports, and thousands of rescue and rescue teams, boats and aircraft were deployed for recovery operations.

Fishermen tried to move a fishing boat to safety off the Arabian Sea in Mumbai before Hurricane Taucht on Tuesday. (Rafiq Mabbur/Associated Press)

Before the weekend, the storm killed six people in Kerala, Karnataka and Goa before moving along the western coastline.

At the same time, virus lock-in measures may slow down rescue efforts after the storm, and the damage caused by the storm may destroy roads and cut off important supply lines of vaccines and medical supplies needed by virus patients. This kind of damage may also hurt the poor in particular, because the economic impact of the virus has made the poor suffer to the limit.

Udaya Regmi, head of South Asia for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the hurricane was a “terrible double blow” to families already hit by COVID-19 infection and death.

Remy said: “As this huge storm threatens Gujarat, the potential impact of the Tauktae cyclone is frightening. Every effort must be made to protect people from this dangerous storm and the raging pandemic.”

India’s west coast is no stranger to devastating hurricanes, but changing climate patterns make them more intense, not more frequent.

In May 2020, Hurricane Amphan was India’s most violent storm hitting eastern India in more than a decade. It swept through the area and left millions of people without electricity. Nearly 100 people died thereafter.

(CBC News)

Source link