Cyclone Tauktae has battered India's Saurashtra region with three deaths, power outages in around 2,500 villages and widespread damage, officials reported Tuesday.

The region is also battling a second wave of COVID that has overwhelmed hospitals.

Tauktae is the strongest cyclone to strike the coast of Gujarat since 1998.

Early Tuesday local time officials said the cyclone had further weakened, and would continue to weaken gradually in the next day. But authorities have asked people to remain cautious as some areas in Gujarat continue to witness strong winds.

More than 90 people are missing after a barge off the coast of India's Mumbai city sank amid a severe cyclone, the BBC reported Tuesday. The India navy said it had rescued 177 of the 270 people aboard and that efforts to find survivors were ongoing.

Three other commercial barges carrying about 700 people are stranded at sea in the wake of cyclone Tauktae, which has battered India's western coast.

Tauktae weakened after it made landfall Monday but at least 12 people have already died in the storm.

Initially classified as "extremely severe," the cyclone made landfall in Gujarat state late Monday with wind speeds of up to 160 kilometers an hour (100 miles an hour). It narrowly missed Mumbai, but the barges adrift off the city's coast were unable to return to the harbor on time.

Winds have ravaged coastal areas in the western state of Gujarat, uprooting trees and electricity poles. In Saurashtra district, electricity supply has been cut as a precautionary measure.

About 200,000 people were evacuated across several states as the cyclone approached, bringing with it heavy rains and gusty winds.

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