Mumbai, June 3:
The roofs of many buildings in Raigad district were blown off and several trees were uprooted in Mumbai and other areas, even as the cyclone “Nisarga” made landfall in Alibaug (about 96 km from Mumbai) in Maharashtra, on Wednesday afternoon.
The cyclone that developed over a low pressure area over the Arabian Sea in Goa( about 580 km from Mumbai), was moving towards Mumbai and had done considerable damage along the Konkan coastal belt.
The trees were uprooted at Nariman Point, Fort and Mumbai Central, Kala Chowkie, Sion, in Mumbai and in Navi Mumbai, with the winds blowing at a speed of 72 kmph. The country’s financial capital continued to receive intermittent showers from early morning. The power sup;
In Konkan the winds blowing at 120-140 kmph, had done considerable damage with the roofs of many buildings in Thane and Palghar near Mumbai and in Uran, Roha, Srivardhan and Murud in Raigad district blown off. In Ratnagiri district a Merchant Vessel “ Basra Star” was drifted. But NDRF teams rescued it in time and brought it to the shore.
The cyclone was moving on unchartered path and had also impacted Nasik district in Central Maharashtra, where the winds were blowing at very high speed and a foggy atmosphere prevailed.
Cyclone Nisarga is moving along the predicted path and is expected to make landfall till 4.30 PM, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General S N Pradhan said.
The 16 teams have been deployed in Maharashtra, while 17 teams (including two on standby), have been deployed in neighbouring Gujarat.
In Mumbai NDRF teams were deployed as : one team each in Colaba (Ward A), Worli (G/South), Bandra (H/East), Malad (P/South) & Borivali (R/North) & 3 teams in Andheri (K/West). While the Mumbai Fire Brigade was engaged in relief measured, 93 lifeguards were deployed at 6 Mumbai beaches by the BMC.
NDRF team along with BMC evacuated local residents near the seashore in Versova in North West Mumbai, while the BMC had arranged about 35 schools as temporary shelters for citizens.
In Mumbai, movement of people near coastline has been banned till Thursday noon since the cyclone is expected to turn into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ by Thursday.
A storm surge - as high as two metres (three to 6.5 feet) above the astronomical tide is expected to inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts during the landfall.
The air traffic at Mumbai airport was stopped till 7 PM. The cyclone also affected the rail traffic. DGCA had already cautioned airlines about the dangers of operating during stormy conditions.
Around 40000 people have been evacuated to safer places till now from various locations (sea belt areas) of Maharashtra NDRF Commandant Anup Shrivastava, said. Similarly around 3,000 people were evacuated in Daman and operations were on, NDRF Deputy Commandant AK Pathak said. Besides, the Indian Coast Guard Region (West) mobilised 8 Disaster Relief Teams for Maharashtra to respond to any requirement of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
While Nisarga is not likely to have an intensity like Cyclone Amphan, which hit West Bangal last month, it is still feared that it may impact Mumbai. The storm is being continuously tracked by the Doppler Weather Radars or DWRs in Goa and Mumbai.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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