Mumbai on High Alert As Cyclone Nisarga Closes In

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The tropical storm “Nisarga,” is expected to make landfall close to Mumbai tomorrow. It is headed towards the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is likely to escalate into a cyclone in the next 12 hours. It will further develop into a severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 12 hours.

Since 1882, India’s financial capital has not witnessed any cyclonic storm that impacts. It has already registered over 41,000 coronavirus cases so far.

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India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated in the morning that it might intensify into a “severe cyclonic storm” in the next 24 hours. Mumbai and neighboring districts have been placed on high alert.

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The IMD said this morning that, “the depression over the east-central Arabian Sea moved northwards with a speed of 11km/h during the past 6 hours, intensified into a deep depression and lay centered at 0530 hours IST of today, the 02nd June 2020 over the East-central Arabian Sea near latitude 15.0 N and longitude 71.2 E about 280 km west-southwest of Panjim (Goa), 490 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 710 km south-southwest of Surat (Gujarat).”

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The storm is also likely to move northwards during the next 06 hours and recurve north-north-eastwards. Later during the afternoon of 3rd June, it will cross northern Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar (Raigad, Maharashtra) and Daman. Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, spoke to Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, through video conferencing and reviewed the state’s preparedness.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) comprises about 45 personnel. NDRF has deployed thirty-one such teams in both the states. NDRF Director-General S N Pradhan said that Nisarga is a severe cyclone with a variable wind speed of 90-100 kph. As a precautionary measure, the process of evacuation of people from the coastal areas of the two states (Maharashtra and Gujarat) is soon expected to begin.

The weather department has said that a storm surge as high as two meters above the astronomical tide will inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Mumbai, Thane, and Raigad districts during the landfall.

“All the fishermen are advised to come back from the sea. Respective district collectors have been asked to ensure there is no loss of life”- a statement regarding the same was made from the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s office. All the hospitals that are not treating coronavirus patients will be made available for fulfilling all the needs of medical assistance.

The Western Naval Command has also mobilized adequate resources for rescue and diving assistance and flood relief in the event of excessive rainfall and flooding of both urban and rural areas. It is in coordination with the respective State governments, NDRF and SDRF, on the Western seaboard.

Western Fleet ships have begun with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks to assist in coastal areas flooded due to heavy rain.

Besides, naval aircraft and helicopters at various Naval Air Stations of Mumbai, Porbandar, and Goa are in stand-by in case a short notice is given to ferry teams to evacuate and rescue the stranded personnel.

The Telecom Department has urged the telecom companies to make the readiness of the situation and proper arrangements for ensuring network connectivity in Maharashtra and Gujarat, informed T.R. Dua, Director-General, Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA). For ensuring proper telecom connectivity in Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has held a meeting with all the telecom service providers, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI)- association for telecom service providers, infrastructure provider (IPs), TAIPA.

The weather department has said that huts, power and communication lines, thatched houses, and coastal crops are expected to have significant damage due to the storms. Proper steps are being taken in order to ensure that there is no disruption of the power supply. It has become even more crucial when the state is battling the coronavirus crisis, and thousands of patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals.

The Prime Minister stated in a tweet regarding his concerns and the steps being taken by the respective organizations to ensure minimum damage.

Cyclone Amphan has already killed 99 people in Bengal and affected lakhs of people. Now, this tropical storm is expected to make landfall in Mumbai days later. All steps are being taken to ensure that all the requirements of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) are fulfilled.

Image Source – New Indian Express

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Apoorva Iyer
Apoorva Iyer is a student of B.A Political Science (Hons.) at Deshbandhu College, Delhi University.

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