61 dead in India after cyclone sinks barge

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At least 61 people have been confirmed dead after a powerful cyclone sank a barge off India’s west coast, police said on Saturday. More than 180 people were rescued from the barge which sent an SOS on Monday after its anchors gave away, leaving it floating adrift.

The barge was carrying mostly construction workers and sank near oilfields southwest of Mumbai.

India’s army and navy deployed ships and aircraft to search for those missing.

Tents were set up in Mumbai on Saturday to help people find their missing or deceased loved ones.

Mumbai’s deputy police commissioner said 61 bodies had been recovered, and about half have been identified and handed over to families so far.

Cyclone Tauktae is the most powerful storm to hit the region in 20 years.

The storm weakened after making landfall on Monday night in the state of Gujarat, although the extent of damage it has caused on land is not yet clear.