Mumbai: Cyclone Nisarga has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and is 200km away from Mumbai.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Mumbai, the cyclone is moving northeasterly towards Alibag in Raigad, where it is expected to make a landfall between 1 pm and 3pm.
The IMD further said that the wind speed had increased to 22 kmph at Santacruz in Mumbai at 4:30 am.
Under its influence, heavy rainfall is likely in Coastal Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat for the next few hours.
Following the cyclone alert, over 100,000 people, including coronavirus patients, have been moved to safety. “Slum-dwellers … in low-lying areas have been instructed to evacuate,” chief minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray’s office wrote on social media.
Indian meteorologists have warned of heavy rainfall accompanied by strong wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph, which is likely to damage thatched huts and power lines. Storm surges of one to two metres (3-6ft) could inundate low-lying areas of Maharashtra, they added.
Citizens have been advised to stay indoors.
The Mumbai International Airport Ltd. on Wednesday announced that it would operate only 19 flights — including 11 outgoings — instead of the regular 50 daily, in view of the cyclone and warned passengers of last-minute changes in the schedules.
Five trains that were to depart from Mumbai Terminal have been rescheduled while 2 trains that were scheduled to arrive at Mumbai Terminal to be suitably regulated and one train has been diverted.
Fishermen have been advised to suspend operations and not to venture into east-central and northeast Arabian Sea and along and off Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra-south Gujarat coast.