Landfall likely by noon today; coastal districts on red alert
The Mumbai Metropolitan Area and rest of Maharashtra, already battered by the Covid pandemic, are bracing for a new disaster in the form of Cyclone Nisarga.
The cyclone is expected to hit the State on Wednesday afternoon. It will be the first cyclone to hit the Mumbai coast in June in 100 years, with likely wind speeds of up to 120 kmph.
The State government is on red alert in Mumbai and the neighbouring coastal districts.
The IMD in its Tuesday afternoon bulletin said the deep depression in the Arabian Sea is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in 12 hours. It is very likely to move nearly northwards during the next few hours, recurve north-northeastwards thereafter and cross north Maharashtra and the adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibag in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.
Jatin Singh, Managing Director of private weather forecaster Skymet Weather, said landfall will happen on Wednesday afternoon 50-60 km north of Mumbai.
The bulletin said that squally wind, with speeds reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph, is prevailing over the east-central Arabian Sea. It will gradually increase, becoming gale wind, with speeds reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph, over the east-central Arabian Sea off the south Maharashtra and Goa coasts from Tuesday evening and further becoming 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph over the east-central Arabian Sea along the Maharashtra coast right from Raigad to Thane on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Western Naval Command is gearing up to handle the emergency. Personnel from the Maharashtra naval area are on standby in Mumbai, with five flood rescue teams and three diving teams.
Similar arrangements have been made in the Karwar (Karnataka), Goa, Daman and Diu naval areas. The teams will also be deployed for relief and rescue during the monsoon season, said a PIB ( Defence Wing) press statement.
June 02, 2020
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