Mumbai on High Alert as Cyclone Nisarga Inches Closer, Expected to Bring 110 kmph Winds

The low-pressure area developing over the Arabian sea is likely to intensify into a 'severe cyclone' and will cross north Maharashtra, affecting Mumbai and south Gujarat coasts on June 3, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday.

Currently, the cyclone is about 700 km of Mumbai and it is expected to have a speed of 105-110 kmph when it crosses the coast on the evening of June 3, IMD added. "It will have an impact on Mumbai," IMD director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told PTI.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government sounded an alert in Mumbai and neighbouring districts in view of the approaching cyclonic storm Nisarga, which is expected to hit the state's coast on June 3. Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad district have been put on red alert, while flash flood warning has been issued in Ratnagiri, Thane, Palghar, Mumbai and Nashik.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray through video conference and took stock of the state's preparedness to tackle any eventuality, the latter's office said. Ten units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in vulnerable districts, while six others have been kept on a stand-by, officials said.

Steps are being taken to ensure there is no disruption of power supply at a time when the state is battling the coronavirus crisis and thousands of patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, they said.

Adequate precautions are being taken to safeguard chemical and atomic energy plants located in coastal Palghar and Raigad districts.

arabian sea

Thackeray, in a statement, said an alert has been sounded in Mumbai city, Mumbai suburban district, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts in view of the cyclonic storm developing in the Arabian Sea.

The state Disaster Management and Relief and Rehabilitation department also geared up to face the cyclone, he said. Fishermen have been asked to come back from the sea and respective district collectors have been asked to ensure there is no loss of life, the statement said.

Earlier today, Mumbai and some neighbouring areas of Thane and Palghar experienced light rain, bringing some respite to residents from the hot and humid weather.

Shah told Thackeray NDRF battalions from neighbouring states have been kept on standby for relief and rescue operations, if required, the statement said. Thackeray said shelter homes are being kept ready for those who are required to be shifted to safer places, it said.

However, the Coast Guard has been asked to ensure fishermen come back from the sea. In low-lying areas of Mumbai, slum-dwellers will be shifted to safer places and non-COVID hospitals will be made available for those needing medical assistance.

Thackeray has also authorities to examine if field hospitals can be shifted to safer places. He also asked for generators to be kept in hospitals so that patients do not suffer in case of disruption in power supply.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said the low-pressure area formed over the Arabian Sea has intensified into a depression and it will further intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next 36 hours.

Some helpline numbers to be contacted in case of any emergency during the cyclone have been released- 02525-297474/02525-252020/8329439902.