Cyclone Sinks Indian Barge, 96 Still Missing 

Cyclone Sinks Indian Barge, 96 Still Missing 

The Indian Navy launched a search operation for 96 missing people onboard barge P305 operated by state-run explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). The barge first went adrift and subsequently sank at an offshore oilfield near Mumbai Tuesday morning after cyclone Tauktae, categorized as “extremely severe,” barreled through the country’s western coast, according to Bloomberg

“Long-range maritime surveillance aircraft were assisting the rescue effort but bad weather was hampering operations,” Indian Navy Spokesman Vivek Madhwal said. He said a total of 273 people were onboard the P305 barge, and 177 were rescued in a night-long operation, with 96 still missing.

The offshore oilfield is about 95 nautical miles off the west coast of Mumbai in the Gulf of Cambay. The barge went adrift after Tauktae crossed the region with winds gusting above 115 mph. The storm made landfall Monday at 830 pm local time on the Gujarat coast, a state on the western coast of India.

Indian warships were deployed Tuesday to rescue hundreds of people from two other ONGC barges, which went adrift in the storm, Madhwal said.

ONGC vessels, Indian Navy ships, and vessels of the Indian Coast Guard joined forces on Tuesday to search for survivors. 

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general of the national weather forecaster, said the cyclone was one of the hardest to hit the Gujarat coast since 1998. 

Meanwhile, residents of Mumbai and Gujarat experienced a powerful cyclone, the equivalent of a category 3 hurricane, with flooded streets, wind-damaged properties, fallen trees, and widespread power outages. 

Tyler Durden
Tue, 05/18/2021 – 10:56

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