Cyclone Nisarga to hit this afternoon
Published: 10:52 AM, 3 June 2020
Cyclone Nisarga over the east-central Arabian Sea is moving towards West coast of India and will hit coasts of Gujarat, Maharashtra on Wednesday afternoon.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the cyclone is very likely to intensify into a "severe cyclonic storm" over the next 12 hours and cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Daman and Harihareshwar in Raigad on Wednesday afternoon.
Times Of India reported that Nisarga will make landfall as 'severe cyclonic storm' close to Alibag, 94 kms south of Mumbai this afternoon with a wind speed of 100-110 kmh gusting to 120 kmh. Alibag is a popular seaside resort town for Mumbai’s elite and home to a large fisherfolk community.
The government has started evacuating over 78,000 people from four districts located near the coastline in Gujarat and deployed 19 teams of NDRF and SDRF. The chief minister asked people to stay alert in view of the impending cyclonic storm `Nisarga'.
“The landfall location will be very close to Alibag but extensive damage can be expected in Mumbai also. For Mumbai, Thane and Raigad there can be storm surge of 1-2 metres and a warning for extremely heavy rainfall has been issued,” M Mohapatra, director-general IMD, said.
The IMD sounded a red alert as extremely heavy rains (over 20 cm) are expected in parts of Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Sindhudurg, and Palghar among other districts.
The last severe cyclonic storm to hit close to Mumbai was in 1961. But experts warned that devastation can be extensive as today’s Mumbai is very different from the Bombay of 1960’s which has lost most of its floodplains and rivulets and is now counted as among the densest cities in the world.
The name, Nisarga proposed by Bangladesh, means ‘nature’. It is the 65th named cyclone in the north Indian Ocean and the second pre-monsoon cyclone to hit the Konkan coast since 1891. It comes in the wake of cyclone Amphan that devastated the lives of over a million people and left 86 dead when it made landfall as a very severe cyclonic storm on May 21 at the Sunderbans, in West Bengal.