One person was killed in Maharashtra’s Raigad district and at least 7 others injured in Mumbai as Cyclone Nisarga made a pounding landfall at Shriwardhan-Dive Agar in Raigad on Wednesday afternoon, said officials.
One man was killed in Umte Village when he was hit by an electric pole uprooted by the force of the gales lashing the region, informed Raigad Collector Nidhi Choudhari.
Cyclone Nisarga, which was expected to move towards Mumbai-Thane-Palghar, has apparently veered off to the east and moving towards Pune, says the latest India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin.
“Nisarga lay centred over coastal Maharashtra, close to the east-southeast of Alibaug, 75 km south-east of Mumbai (Colaba) and 65 km west of Pune. Current intensity (near centre) 90-100 km/ph gusting to 110 km/ph,” said IMD.
Now, the cyclone is likely to head towards Nashik, Jalgaon and then onto Madhya Pradesh even as Nisarga seemed to have missed Mumbai by a whisker, said officials.
In Mumbai, three persons sustained minor injuries when some construction stones fell on the tin roof of their slum in Santacruz and four others were injured when pieces of a roof crashed on them in Walkeshwar.
There were around 196 incidents of trees or branch crashes and at least two taxis getting crushed under them, 9 incidents of minor house or wall crashes and 29 incidents of short-circuits all over the city, but no fatalities, said the Disaster Control of BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Around 18,890 people from risk-prone coastal areas were shifted to 35 temporary shelters by the BMC while Raigad authorities had moved around 13,000 people to safety.
Many trees were uprooted in Raigad while a large number of electric poles and power lines were knocked down and scores of roofs blew away from homes.
The entire coastal region including Palghar, Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg witnessed heavy rainfall hours before Nisarga made landfall accompanied by strong winds of up to 60-70 km/ph since Tuesday evening which intensified by Wednesday morning.
The restricted traffic movement in Mumbai had normalised by evening though the Bandra Worli Sea Link and other coastal roads remained deserted in view of the heavy waves in the Arabian Sea.
At least 10 crew members stranded aboard a merchant ship – which was tossed in the waves and ran aground near Mirkawada fishing village in Ratnagiri – were safely rescued by local fishermen and Indian Coast Guard.
The Mumbai International Airport suspended all flights from 2.30 p.m. but they were resumed at 6 p.m. while several long-distance trains on the Central Railway and Western Railway lines had been rescheduled.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, along with other ministers and officials, continuously monitored the unfolding cyclonic situation while Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was in constant touch with all coastal District Collectors and sought ground reports from them.
Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that though Mumbai has been spared of the cyclonic wrath, the danger is not yet over as it continues to move in a north-eastern direction.
“We are currently getting details with ‘panchnama’ of all the damage that has taken place in the affected regions. People must still remain vigilant as rains and strong winds will continue for at least another day,” Thorat said.
Rescue teams of the NDRF and the SDRF, besides army, navy, air force, coast guard, police, fire brigade, along with expert divers continue to remain on standby at various points in Mumbai.
Due to overnight rains, several low-lying and coastal areas of Mumbai and Thane, besides other districts experienced inundation, but there were no disruptions as most people kept off roads and stayed put in their homes.