Severe cyclonic storm Nisarga, second to strike India in 2 weeks; key points
Severe cyclonic storm Nisarga, the second to hit India in two weeks – made its landfall on coastal Maharashtra at around 1 pm. This is the first such storm in a long time to strike Mumbai. No one is permitted to come out in public places such as beaches, parks etc along the Mumbai coastline, the police said.
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Diu, and Dadar and Nagar Havely as well have been put on high alert as parts of these states and the UT fall on the path of the Nisarga that developed over the Arabian Sea.
* Nisarga made landfall this afternoon near Alibaug, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief SN Pradhan, tweeted, along with some clips that show trees swaying amid strong winds and heavy rain. The landfall process will be completed in one hour, said IMD.
* Alibaugh reported wind speed of 93 km per hour this afternoon. The storm - likely to weaken into a cyclone in the next 5-6 hours - is expected to have wind speeds of 100 km per hour, with gusts up to 120 kph.
* Forty-three teams of NDRF have been deployed in areas expected to be hit along Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts. One NDRF team consists of 45 personnel. "The evacuation is nearly complete. Those in shelters are being trained for life skills and social distancing is being ensured. All preparations are in order. Let's hope we safely ride through the cyclone," NDRF chief SN Pradhan said.
* Over 19,000 people have been moved to safety in Maharashtra. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday told the people "stay indoors". "The cyclone could be more severe than the ones the state has faced till now," The CM said. With over 70,000 coronavirus cases, the state is the worst-hit in the country by the pandemic.
* Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has put out a list of dos and don'ts for citizens, urging them to stay away from windows, check for gas leaks and keep mobile phones charged. "Dial 1916 and Press 4 for any cyclone-related questions. Ignore rumours, stay calm, don't panic," the BMC said. The Banda-Worli sea link in the city has been shut for traffic and rescue teams are on standy.
* A storm surge - as high as two metres (three to 6.5 feet) above the astronomical tide – will flood the low-lying areas of the state, Thane and Raigad districts during the landfall, said IMD.
* CM Uddhav Thackeray's Office on Tuesday listed some of the steps that were being taken. These included evacuating those staying in thatched huts. Non-COVID-19 hospitals have been instructed to prepare for medical emergencies. The state is also taking measures in case of breaks in electricity supply and to secure the nuclear power plant in Palghar.
* PM Modi on Tuesday 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)". In a tweet, his office later said that PM Modi spoke to Uddhav Thackeray and Vijay Rupani, assuring all possible help.
* Earlier, Directorate General of Civil Aviation warned airlines about the perils of operating during monsoon and stormy conditions. Air and rail traffic has been disrupted because of the storm.
* Cyclone Nisarga is the second to hit India's coasts in nearly two weeks. Earlier, Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms to have formed over the Bay of Bengal, struck Bengal and parts of Odisha, killing almost 100 people and affecting lakhs. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee estimated the damage done at ₹1 lakh crore.