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Cyclone Nisarga crosses Maharashtra’s Raigad, 1 dead, Mumbai escapes the worst; no big impact in Gujarat

After storming the Maharashtra coast, cyclone Nisarga has started weakening and its intensity will reduce further by evening, the India Meteorological Department said.

SNS | New Delhi |

Apart from incidents of trees getting uprooted and electric poles falling, one person has been reported dead from Maharashtra after cyclone Nisarga made a landfall near Alibag in coastal Raigad district around 12:30 pm. The process was completed by 2.30 pm.

Cyclone ‘Nisarga’, which intensified into a “severe cyclonic storm” this morning, made landfall near Alibag on Maharashtra coast as with the wind speed of more than 120 kms per hour and heavy rainfall.

After storming the Maharashtra coast, cyclone Nisarga has started weakening and its intensity will reduce further by evening, the India Meteorological Department said.

The storm which lay 75 kilometres southeast of Mumbai and 65 kilometres west of Pune, is currently moving with a speed of 90-100 km per hour.

Coronavirus-hit Mumbai appears to have escaped the worst of Cyclone Nisarga as the first severe storm to threaten India’s financial capital in over 100 years left it largely unscathed after ripping roofs off homes in a nearby coastal town.

As per the latest India Meteorological Department bulletin, the cyclone which was expected to move towards Mumbai-Thane-Palghar, has apparently veered off to the east and moving towards Pune.

From the changed direction, the cyclone is likely to head towards Nashik, Jalgaon and then onto Madhya Pradesh, officials said, even as Nisarga seemed to have missed the state capital by a whisker.

However, barring three persons sustaining minor injuries when a tin roof blew off in Santacruz, there are no reports of any casualties so far in Mumbai.

Big and small trees were uprooted and crashed in south Mumbai’s Colaba and Churchgate crushing at least two vehicles, while heavy waves lashed the jetties at Gateway of India, Bhaucha Dhakka, and popular beaches at Girgaum Chowpatty, Dadar, Juhu, Versova, Madh, Marve, Gorai on the city’s west coast.

Currently, Maharashtra is experiencing post-landfall effect with a wind speed of 90-100 kmph in Mumbai and Thane and moderate to heavy to very heavy rainfall.

Several low-lying areas in Pune have remained inundated due to rains brought in by cyclone ‘Nisarga’ since Tuesday night, officials said.

Flight operations that had been suspended at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport till 7 pm, will now resume from 6 pm.

Meanwhile, cyclone Nisarga, which was also expected to hit Gujarat’s Surat this evening, has had no major impact on the coastal region.

No untoward incident has been reported in southern coast of Gujarat, where authorities shifted more than 63,700 people living in eight districts as a precautionary measure.

Apart from Maharashtra and Gujarat, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were also put on high alert.

Meanwhile, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said that cyclone Nisarga “may have already moved away from the seas off the Goa’s coastline, but government departments are on alert to take on any eventuality”.

All emergency services, the police, fire brigade, NDRF and SDRF, Army, Navy, Air Force, coast-guard, home-guards and others were fully geared for the anticipated fallout of the storm.

As many as 43 teams National Disaster Response Force were deployed in areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat that were expected to be affected by cyclone Nisarga.

In Mumbai, the ban on movement of people is till Thursday noon, the police said in a late-night order, adding that anyone caught violating the ban will face criminal action.

Several hours before the landfall, Nisarga had already announced its impending arrival with heavy rains or showers in the entire coastal region – Palghar, Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg – accompanied by strong gales of up to 60-70 km per hour speed since Wednesday morning.

As a precautionary measure, over 13,000 people were evacuated in Raigad, some 2,000 in Mumbai and some more in Ratnagiri, Thane and Palghar, mostly from low-lying or risk-prone areas, and those living in ‘kuchha’ structures.