With the Tropical storm “Nisarga” heading towards the coasts in Maharashtra and Gujarat, the civic authorities have challenges ahead in dealing with heavy rains in Mumbai, so far, they all were engaged in controlling COVID-19 cases. Mumbai, Thane, Palghar are on red alert, heavy rain on June 3 and 4 June is predicted by IMD. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a pre-cyclone watch for north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts with a low-pressure area persisting over the southeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep islands.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in the meeting held on Monday through video conferencing, said Mumbai city, its suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg are on alert for the cyclone.
The state’s disaster management, relief, and rehabilitation department are fully prepared to deal with the cyclone.
Fishermen have been called in from the sea and the coast guard has been notified, the slum dwellers in the Mumbai metropolitan area, especially in the low-lying areas, have also been instructed to evacuate.
“10 units of the NDRF have been deployed for rescue operations while six SDRF units have been kept on standby,” the CM said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has kept its disaster management control room and all necessary departments on high alert. All 24 ward offices have been ordered to relocate people living in flood-prone areas to nearby schools.
Mrutunjay Mohapatra, director general of IMD told media that, “It is predictable to turn into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday. We are monitoring whether this will be as intense as Cyclone Amphan and are in touch with the concerned state governments,”.
A district-wise forecast, issued by the IMD, has put Palghar on “red alert” with the possibility of extremely heavy rain at isolated places for June 3 and 4. Mumbai and Thane, meanwhile, have been put on “orange alert” with the possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall at few places.
The depression over east-central Arabian Sea intensified into a “deep depression” this afternoon. “It is very likely to intensify into a Cyclonic Storm during next six hours and further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during subsequent 12 hours,” the IMD said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
“It is very likely to cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibag (Raigad District, Maharashtra) during the afternoon of June 3 as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph,” the statement added.
Union home minister Amit Shah spoke to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray through video conference and took stock of the state’s preparedness to tackle any eventuality.
The IMD also predicted that the national capital and some areas of Uttar Pradesh are likely to receive rainfall today. It also stated that the thunderstorm would accompany downpour in these regions.
IMD has released helpline numbers to be contacted in case of any emergency through the cyclone – 02525-297474/02525-252020/8329439902.