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AHMEDABAD: A major new storm was brewing in the Bay of Bengal off India’s east coast on Thursday, forecasters warned just days after the biggest cyclone to hit the west of the country in decades left at least 120 people confirmed dead.

Scientists say cyclones in the densely-populated region, currently reeling from coronavirus, are becoming both more frequent and stronger as climate change leads to warmer sea temperatures.

Even before Cyclone Tauktae hammered the coast late Monday, torrential downpours at its outer bands and strong winds killed around 20 people in western and southern India.

In Gujarat where winds smashed windows, felled tens of thousands of trees and knocked out power for huge numbers of people, the number of dead rose to 53, officials said late Wednesday.

The toll could rise further, however, with local newspapers saying almost 80 people had died in the state, many killed by collapsing houses or walls.

Around 200,000 were evacuated before the cyclone arrived but no serious problems were reported at Covid hospitals.

The cyclone weakened as it moved northeast, dumping heavy rain in Allahabad and New Delhi, which reportedly had its wettest and coolest day in May in 70 years.

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