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Published On: Tue, Jun 2nd, 2020

Mumbai On High Alert For Cyclone “Nisarga”

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NDRFMUMBAI:  Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today appealed to the people of Mumbai to “stay indoors” as Cyclone Nisarga has been forecast by the weather office to make landfall in the state’s coast tomorrow.
The cyclone that formed due to a low pressure area in the Arabian Sea comes at a time when the state with the highest number of coronavirus cases in India has been struggling to deal with an overburdened healthcare infrastructure.
The Chief Minister asked the residents of Mumbai to be prepared to face possible power cuts as strong winds hit the city. He asked them to charge their gadgets and if possible, keep emergency lights handy.

Cyclone Nisarga, the first to strike near Mumbai in over 100 years, is expected to make landfall expected tomorrow afternoon. The India Meteorological Department or IMD said Nisarga is likely to intensify into a “severe cyclonic storm” with heavy rainfall and wind speeds in excess of 100 km per hour over the next 12 hours.

Over 10,000 people, including some coronavirus patients, have been moved to safer locations. Mumbai has over 41,000 coronavirus cases. Its suburbs and neighbouring Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg have been placed on high alert due to the incoming cyclone.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken with Mr Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Gujarat and the administrator of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli to assure support from the centre.

Mumbai airport in a statement said it has kept electric generators ready to provide uninterrupted power and water pumps have been installed across the airport to prevent flooding.
PM Modi had earlier in the day tweeted: “Took stock of the situation in the wake of cyclone conditions in parts of India’s western coast. Praying for everyone’s well-being. I urge people to take all possible precautions and safety measures (sic)”.
He assured all possible support and assistance from the Centre. (sic)”. On Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to review preparations for the cyclone.
The Met department has also warned of one to two metre-high (three to 6.5 feet) storm surges inundating low-lying areas of Maharashtra.  Over 30 NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) teams have been deployed in areas expected to be affected along Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts.
“Teams are being prepared to tackle damage that may be caused by fallen trees, landslides and heavy rainfall,” the CMO added. A control room has been established at the Maharahtra secretariat building and will be operational round the clock. Instructions have also been given to the Army, Air Force, Navy and the IMD to ensure coordination.
Around 20,000 people from 47 coastal villages in Gujarat’s Valsad and Navsari districts are being evacuated. “We have already identified shelter homes and started the evacuation of nearly 10,000 from 35 villages,” RR Raval, Valsad District Collector, was quoted by news agency PTI. In neighbouring Navsari district, the administration has begun evacuating around 10,200 people from 12 villages.
Indian Coast Guard ships and planes have been deployed along the coast to warn fishermen and merchant ships to return to harbour.  Maharashtra is already battling a COVID-19 outbreak of alarming proportions; there are over 70,000 confirmed cases in the state with 2,362 deaths linked to the virus. Hospitals and law enforcement agencies, particularly in Mumbai, are already stretched.

Cyclone Nisarga will be the second to strike India’s coasts in less than two weeks; last month Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms to have formed over the Bay of Bengal in recent years, struck Bengal and parts of Odisha, killing nearly 100 people and affecting lakhs. Bengal Chief Minister estimated the damage done at Rs 1 lakh crore.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs).




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