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Cyclone hits India amid virus crisis

Cyclone hits India amid virus crisis
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A cyclone made landfall on India's western coast on Monday as the country faces an ongoing health crisis posed by a massive surge of COVID-19 cases.

The BBC reported that local weather services announced the storm's landfall late Monday evening, local time. At least 12 people have died and more than 150,000 were evacuated from their homes.

Named "Tautkae" by India's meteorological agency, the cyclone reached peak wind speeds of around 103 mph, according to the Associated Press, putting it at the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane.

Tautkae's landfall comes as India has experienced a devastating wave of coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The surge in new cases has almost completely overwhelmed the country's health system, leading to widespread shortages of hospital beds, oxygen canisters and even medical personnel.

“The potential impacts of Cyclone Tauktae are frightening as this monster storm threatens the state of Gujarat. Every effort must continue to keep people safe from this dangerous storm and the raging pandemic," said the South Asia director of the international Red Cross/Red Crescent, according to the AP.