MUMBAI: Cyclone Nisarga made landfall on Wednesday (June 3, 2020) as 'severe cyclonic storm' in Maharashtra's Alibaug which is about 50 km away from the Mumbai city. Nisarga is expected to enter the Mumbai city in a few hours as the cyclonic cycle lays centered over east-central Arabian Sea near LAT. 18.1°N and Long. 72.8°E lies very close to Raigad coast. It's about 60 KM south of Alibagh, 110 KM south of Mumbai, 340 KM south of Surat (Gujarat).
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Nisarga will take three hours to complete the process and gradually enter Mumbai and Thane districts of Maharashtra. The weather office has warned that Cyclone Nisarga will severely affect the coastal districts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Gujarat and other neighbouring states.
"Nisarga is 140 km away from Alibaug and 190 km from Mumbai. It is likely to cross with an intensity of a severe cyclonic storm close to the south of Alibaug, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Mumbai's deputy director-general of meteorology KS Hosalikar said. "At that time, its speed is likely to be 100 kmph to 110 kmph, he added.
A high alert has been sounded and Section 144 (CrPC) imposed in Mumbai till June 4. Police have asked citizens to refrain from venturing out to coast-beaches, promenade, parks and other similar places along the coastline in view of the Cyclone.
Cyclone Nisarga, which headed towards the coastline of Maharashtra and Gujarat on Wednesday morning, comes a week after Cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in West Bengal. Hosalikar said Mumbai, Thane, Raigad and Palghar will be under the influence of the storm. In Mumbai too, the winds may flow at 100 kmph to 110 kmph, he said.
The IMD said the storm may also gust to 120 kmph and is approaching the coastal belt at a speed of 11 kmph. It has already predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in the aforesaid coastal districts of the state. The department has predicted the storm will have an impact on areas in North Maharashtra, Pune, Ahmednagar, where rainfall is expected.
The department has said kuccha houses, trees, electric poles may fall as they may not be able to withstand the speed of the storm. The state government authorities have already asked people in vulnerable areas to shift to safer places.
Bracing for the impact of what is being billed as the most severe cyclone to hit Mumbai, the Central Railway (CR) rescheduled special trains and many airlines also cancelled their Mumbai operations.
The CR has rescheduled, diverted and regulated some trains on Wednesday, an official said. These include five special trains departing from Mumbai. Three special trains will be either diverted or regulated enroute, he added.
In view of the Cyclone, Maharashtra and Gujarat governments activated their disaster response mechanism, deploying NDRF teams and evacuating people from areas likely to be hit.
As a precautionary measure, the NDRF has evacuated around 1500 people staying in a shelter at Thal near Alibaug, an official said. The teams also evacuated people from Uttan and Mira Bhayandar, he added. The teams conducted a recce of Palghar and Raigad coast early on Wednesday, the official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to the chief ministers of the two states on Tuesday and assured them all possible help from the Centre.
Nearly 43,000 people living near the coastline in Gujarat's Valsad and Navsari districts have been shifted to safer places as the state prepares to face the approaching cyclonic storm, officials said. All fishing boats which were out in the sea off Palghar coast have returned, an official said. As many as 577 fishing boats from Palghar had gone out in the sea and till Monday evening, 564 came back.
Later, help was sought from the Coast Guard, Navy and the fisheries department and the remaining 13 boats also returned to the shore late Tuesday evening, Palghar district disaster control chief Vivekanand Kadam said. Ten teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in parts of Maharashtra for rescue operations in view of the cyclonic storm, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said.
An alert has been issued for Mumbai city and suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. Town planning authority MMRDA said nearly 150 patients at its COVID facility in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai were shifted as a precaution ahead of the cyclone.
Hundreds of people living close to various beaches in Mumbai have been shifted to safer places on Wednesday in light of Cyclone 'Nisarga' which has made landfall near Alibaug, the police said. Mumbai Police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are taking all precautionary measures to minimise any damage likely to be caused by the cyclone, an official said.
"Hundreds of people living in areas near seashores like Colaba in south Mumbai, Worli and Dadar in Central Mumbai, and Juhu and Versova in Western Mumbai, are being shifted to safer places by the BMC with the assistance of the police," a Mumbai Police official said.
"Mumbai, we have survived several storms together. This cyclone shall pass too. As always, just take all necessary precautions, follow the guidelines and dont believe in any rumours. Trust only official sources. Take care," Mumbai Police tweeted.